Acosta, frustrated at not being called on during recent briefings, blurted out a question about healthcare instead. In response to a question about the camera ban, Spicer said, "I think it's great for us to come out here and have a substantive discussion about policies".
The on-camera press briefing is something that has long marked the daily back and forth between the White House and the reporters who cover it.
"It's a legitimate question, Sean".
"This is nothing inconsistent with what we've said since Day One", Spicer added.
"Why are the cameras off Sean?"
The White House Correspondents Association has condemned the White House communications department for avoiding the daily televised press briefings, which yielded illuminating and occasionally embarrassing headlines for the administration. Even when the briefings are not aired immediately on news networks, clips are frequently used in news packages.
But Spicer called that claim "truly fake news" in an interview Monday afternoon. "Is that a new normal that we would expect?" Acosta demanded. He received no answer from the press secretary. Past administrations have occasionally offered up an off-camera press gaggle here and there but nothing anywhere close to what this White House is now doing.
The real reason for the push toward off-camera gaggles is this: The White House knows that we are a visual culture.
They have traditionally been livestreamed by C-SPAN and the White House, as well. "I want the president's voice to carry the day". Melissa McCarthy has also mocked Spicer's intensity in multiple "SNL" skits, further popularizing the briefings. Trump was not scheduled to take questions during the garden appearance with Modi.