Atop the list of ridiculous theories about how President Trump is turning the U.S. into a “dictatorship” is the fact that White House press briefings are no longer regularly conducted.
Human Rights Foundation chairman Garry Kasparov told Brian Stelter on CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ that the elimination of the briefings indicates a further slide toward authoritarian government.
Asked about the W.H. stopping press briefings, Garry @Kasparov63 says it furthers his prediction Trump is turning the U.S. into a dictatorship; warns his children may extend his reign pic.twitter.com/EoPkhFWPPw
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 22, 2019
Here’s how the host led Kasparov’s answer: “This was the year the White House press briefing died, the on-camera press briefing. It’s been 286 days since a formal, on-camera White House press briefing.” Stelter then gave a website address where people can go to find a count of the days since a press briefing occurred.
Kasparov said it is further proof of Trump turning the U.S. into a dictatorship.
Don't build straw men out of my use of the word dictatorship. I'm warning about the techniques & tendencies I know all too well, not saying Trump is going to ride a tank down Pennsylvania Avenue!
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) December 22, 2019
But, his assertion that the Trump administration is chipping away at freedom of the press by cutting out the daily briefing from the press secretary is deeply flawed, considering Trump himself regularly answers questions (and lots of them) from the media.
Opinion: President Trump eclipses his predecessors on media availability https://t.co/sZWtH6jfrm
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 15, 2019
Is Stelter going to show a count of the number of times Trump has stood on the White House lawn or somewhere else and taken numerous questions from the media with the cameras rolling?
— POLITICO (@politico) October 16, 2017
Members of the media need to ask themselves which is better, having a press secretary relate the president’s actions/intentions on a consistent basis or having the president himself explain them regularly?
Mr. Accessible: Trump takes 68 questions from 35 reporters, three-times Obama https://t.co/f5j2jnOsKs
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 9, 2018
After the midterm elections of 2018, Trump answered nearly three times the amount of questions Obama answered after the 2010 midterms.
Dispelling on live television that he hides from the press, Trump took 68 questions from 35 reporters. And if the failed follow-up questions are included, the number soars closer to 90.
How does that compare to the press conference former President Barack Obama took after he was clobbered in the first midterm election he faced?
In that 2010 performance, Obama took 22 questions from 10 reporters who offered soft questions, not the types of challenges Trump faced.
Even in the 2016 campaign, Trump was very accessible.
Am struck, watching social media, at the degree to which the Trump family, not just the candidate, is pretty accessible to the public
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 18, 2016
Lack of transparency is not a knock on this administration (to a fault, some might argue). Through his on-camera appearances and constant use of Twitter, this president is the most accessible in history.