Clamping Down, White House Puts the ‘brief' in Its Briefing

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s White House is putting the “brief” in press briefings.

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 Russia interfered in the 2016 election and whether Trump had seen the hotly debated Senate health care bill.

Once more freewheeling exchanges, White House press briefings have been shrinking both in length and content as Trump’s senior aides clamp down on information and contend with the president’s preference for speaking directly to his fan base.

The administration has erected other barriers to transparency as well, such as refusing to make its visitor logs public. And Trump hasn’t held a full press conference since February or participated in interviews since the end of April.

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