Fox News Reporter Walks Out of Off-Camera Press Briefing and Throws Parting Shot at White House

Fox News reporter John Roberts has thrown some shade at Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump’s spokeswoman, for the White House’s refusal to hold daily on-camera press briefings.

When Mr Roberts, the network’s chief White House correspondent, got up to leave Tuesday’s briefing early, Ms Sanders noticed and joked: “John Roberts is bored today; he’s headed out.”

“If it was on camera, I might not be,” Mr Roberts shot back. The remaining correspondents in the briefing “ooh-ed” approvingly.

In recent weeks, the White House has begun to hold off-camera briefings almost daily – a departure from previous administrations when daily on-camera briefings were the norm.

Mr Trump’s press staff have said the change is meant to draw more attention to the President’s remarks, but some reporters have asserted that the White House “should have the backbone” to answer questions during on-camera proceedings.

The restrictions on briefing coverage have intensified the friction between Mr Trump’s communications staff and the White House press corps.

“We are not satisfied with the current state-of-play, and we will work hard to change it,” said Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, in a June statement.

When the White House first began transitioning toward daily off-camera briefings, news outlets were instructed in some cases not to record or broadcast the audio of the proceedings. But after backlash from the media, news organisations are now allowed to televise or broadcast the audio recordings from the briefings after they have ended.

Fox News’ Shep Smith noted that Mr Roberts had departed the briefing early to appear on the network.

On Twitter, Mr Roberts wrote that he would have stuck around until the end if the proceeding had been televised.

The Trump administration has not held an on-camera press briefing at the White House since 29 June.

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