In his first daily press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer fielded questions from more than twice as many reporters as did Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s first press secretary, on his first day at the White House podium eight years ago.
By The Daily Caller’s count, Spicer took questions from 42 different reporters during Monday’s 80 minute bull session. A review of Gibbs’ first briefing, from Jan. 22, 2009, shows he took questions from 19 reporters for roughly 50 minutes.
Spicer received and answered questions at a rapid-fire rate. That’s unlike Gibbs’ first briefing which was slower-paced and involved more multi-part queries from reporters. Some of the reporters Spicer called on asked single questions on topical issues.
Spicer’s briefing was also different than Gibbs’ — and all of his recent predecessors — in that he broke the longstanding tradition of granting the first question to the Associated Press.
Spicer’s first question went to Daniel Halper of the New York Post. He next called on reporters from Christian Broadcasting Network, Univision, Fox Business, and American Urban Radio.
After calling on the AP first in his initial briefing, Gibbs called on CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN.
Spicer’s longevity on Monday is in stark contrast to an impromptu briefing he gave on Saturday to discuss media reports about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowds. Spicer chided reporters for five minutes over their coverage of the issue. He did not take questions.