Priebus will get the ax before Spicer, White House insiders believe

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As he heads to Iowa on Wednesday for his fifth political rally while in office, Trump is reducing the importance of White House press briefings.

CNN sent Bill Hennessy, the network's regular Supreme Court sketch artist, to the White House briefing today. Sean Spicer, the embattled press secretary, spoke for 30 minutes Tuesday and didn't answer a number of basic questions, including whether the president believes Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election and whether Trump had seen the hotly debated Senate health care bill.

Previously, the White House has held many off-camera briefings, but audio was always allowed to be transmitted.

It's no secret that the White House has struggled to communicate with the media, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer stumbling his way through lie after lie since day one.

Mr Spicer said the White House's contentious relationship with the press is because a lot of reporters are "more focused about getting their clip on air than they are of actually taking the time to understand an issue". "If they can't give us the answers to the questions on camera or where we can record the audio, they're basically pointless at this point", Acosta added.

Once the briefing "finishes, we will be able to bring you some of the highlights", Fox anchor Jon Scott said.

More news: US releases photos of 'unsafe' Russian jet intercept

Yet Spicer, who has been the beleaguered face of the Trump administration since uttering inaccuracies about the size of the president's inauguration crowd in January, claimed it is the reporters who are the problem.

Trump's advisers initially encouraged the daily phone calls as a way to help Trump compartmentalize, but the Post reported that one White House official could only laugh when asked whether the calls have been effective. "When will @PressSec provide the promised answers?"

The reason why is that YOUR government doesn't want YOU to see and hear what they're doing. "Still waiting for a response".

These tactics signal that the White House is anxious to take attention away from the briefings, which have turned into a ritual of resistance and stonewalling.

CNN vividly showed the new restrictions in action on Thursday by broadcasting live pictures from the briefing room until the moment Sanders stepped up to the podium.

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