White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Tuesday confirmed that the administration’s communications team could undergo a shakeup, but reassured reporters he’s still presiding over the podium.
“I’m right here,” Spicer said during the first on-camera briefing in more than a week. “So you can keep taking your selfies.”
Asked about why the White House has cut back on the briefs, opting instead for gaggles or off-camera updates, Spicer said, “There is more than one avenue to do this.”
“We’re always looking to do a better job articulating the president’s message, agenda,” he said during the 31-minute briefing in the West Wing. “When we have an announcement of a personnel nature we’ll let you know.”
Reports have said Spicer’s tenure as press secretary may be coming to an end.
“We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation,” Huckabee Sanders said in a statement on Monday. “As he did in the beginning, Sean Spicer is managing both the communications and press office.”
Asked why Spicer is holding off-camera press briefings, White House strategist Steve Bannon joked that it’s a weighty matter.
“Sean got fatter,” he texted the Atlantic and did not respond to follow-up questions.
Reports say Spicer is being moved away from his role as press secretary and the White House is looking for a replacement, with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham and London’s Daily Mail’s US political editor David Martosko in the running.
Outrage over the tightly controlled briefings came to a head on Monday when the White House said Spicer’s off-camera gaggle would not be available for broadcast or audio.
“I’ve said it since the beginning – the president spoke today, he was on camera,” Spicer explained on Monday . “He’ll make another comment today at the technology summit. And there are days that I’ll decide that the president’s voice should be the one that speaks, and iterate his priorities.”
The White House Correspondents Association has criticized the lack of media availability and has said it would “object” to any move by the Trump administration to cancel the briefings.
Last month, Trump suggested ending the briefings that have been a routine part of past administrations.
“Well, just don’t have them,” Trump said on Fox News. “Unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself, we don’t have them. I think it’s a good idea.”