Donald Trump's White House has slowly but surely reduced its presence in the White House briefing room during the first six months of his presidency -- with on-camera briefings all but disappearing from the schedule.
The Trump administration held an on-camera briefing 12 times in February, and then another 17 times in March. In May, there were 11 briefings on camera. Since then, those numbers have dropped drastically. Briefings are shorter, less substantive and rarely on camera these days. In June, there were only eight on-camera briefings. There have been zero in July.
When the briefing is off-camera, news outlets are typically barred from airing the audio live and must wait until the briefing is over to take it to air.
White House deputy secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has also had an increased presence at the lectern. She has handled most of the briefings since June 27, leaving many wondering about the role of her boss, press secretary Sean Spicer. He last briefed reporters on July 17 -- for the first time in three weeks -- because Sanders was not at the White House that day.
Spicer has justified off-camera briefings by saying he wants the president's voice "to carry the day," though he later admitted he preferred for the cameras to be turned off because "a lot" of reporters "want to become YouTube stars."
During an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network Wednesday, Spicer said the White House communications team is "very engaged with the press all day long doing interviews like this" and "communicating with the press."
"We do a briefing every single day," Spicer said. "I think for a lot of folks, they're more interested in getting the clip to put on the Internet, to put on their news, and we're interested in making sure that we communicate with the American people, that we give the press an opportunity to get their questions answered but we're not here to make it a spectacle, either."