Where Is Sean Spicer? White House Briefing Held Off-Camera Monday

The White House began arranging a new role for Mr. Spicer as early as May 19, when Mr. Trump embarked on his historic first trip overseas with visits to the Middle East and Europe.

Spicer's briefings have been must-see TV during the start of the Trump era, beginning with his fiery, inaccurate claim that journalists wrongly portrayed the size of Trump's inauguration audience.

Such rules, complained Acosta, make the questions and answer sessions "basically pointless at this point".

White House officials believed the trip garnered good coverage even though the president eschewed a longtime presidential tradition of holding a news conference overseas and instead provided only limited public press briefings.

"We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the newspaper.

As the White House hunkers down in the midst of the expanding Russian Federation scandal, press briefings are becoming less frequent and the once-daily sightings of press secretary Sean Spicer a thing of the past. The president has in the past floated canceling all future press briefings in the name of accuracy. The people spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations before a final decision is made.

"We have been very forceful in our political and economic pressure that has been applied in North Korea", Spicer said. Spicer took questions for less than a half-hour on Monday, refusing to allow reporters to record audio or video of the briefing while rebuffing a series of questions about the most pressing topics of the day.

During the briefing, Mr Spicer suggested that changes may be coming.

Since the announcement Monday, Spicer has yet to answer any questions about why he's leaving the press secretary role.

"I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing", Spicer said, resorting to the fallback answer he frequently gives in response to hard or controversial questions - that he has not had a chance to ask the president his views. "If it's something I could do well, and it would really advance the agenda of this administration", she said, "I would think about it".

McConnell declined to describe how the Senate bill will have more "heart" than the House bill, saying only that it will "speak for itself" and "be different".

  • Larry Hoffman