Steve Bannon says there are fewer press briefings because Sean Spicer "got fatter"
Since President Donald Trump first took office, the number of on-camera White House press briefings has strangely declined. What's even stranger, is senior Trump aide Steve Bannon's explanation for it.
In a recent story for the Atlantic, reporter Rosie Gray reached out to several members of the administration to ask why the administration was holding fewer and fewer on-camera briefings.
"Neither [Sean] Spicer nor deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to queries about the changes to the briefings," Gray wrote. "Asked why the briefings are now routinely held off-camera, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a text message 'Sean got fatter,' and did not respond to a follow-up."
Bannon's comment on Spicer appears to have been tongue-and-cheek. But, aside from lacking the decorum of a White House aide, Bannon's attempt to dodge the question belies bigger transparency issues.
Last month the president openly mused about canceling the briefings altogether in a tweet.
But Trump may have found a way to avoid replacing his press secretary by simply reducing the time he spends answering questions in the public eye.