Since President Trump has been back from his international trip to the Middle East and Europe, he has done as he promised and begun to cut down on White House press briefings. At the beginning of his administration -- during the transition period -- it was rumored that the new administration was considering moving the press corp out of the White House. The assumption was that the new administration would start blocking the press and not allow himself or his White House to be held accountable.

From off-message to off-camera

Prior to this -- after Donald Trump became President-elect -- he invited members of the press to Trump Tower for what they believed would be constructive meeting over their role with the new administration.

Instead, it was reported that Trump berated members of the press, attacking them for their negative coverage of him. As a sign that he was unable to control his own message -- after having fired FBI Director James Comey, President Trump was questioned by Lester Holt of NBC News about the firing, where the President showed he was out of step with the message his aides were trying to convey to the media, saying that Russia was on his mind when he fired him and taking full credit for doing so. His aides were saying that it was on the recommendation of those attorney generals with the Department of Justice.

That is when he would then express his immediate frustration and threaten to cancel all White House press briefings and only hand out messages every few weeks.

There was reason to believe that with so much controversy and scandal flowing out of the White House, that his was not an empty threat. Since returning from his trip, they have also held fewer press briefings. When they have had them, they have been cut short and most of them are now off camera. Not only has this begun to upset the press corp, but it has also reportedly caused some alarm among a few Trump surrogates according to an article by The Hill aptly titled: "Press briefing crackdown worries Trump allies".

Bad optics for White House message

An article by the Hill says that one of Trump's closest friends -- CEO of conservative Newsmax Chris Ruddy -- has said that it would be better for the administration to have frequent press briefings in order for the message to go out to their supporters uncensored. He also said that with the spin cycle as it is, his supporters would get the message directly and he also pointed to the fact that so many people were drawn to those televised briefings.

But this appears to be more of a matter of trying to discipline or avenge themselves with the press. According to the Hill article, the administration - per White House aides -- believe that their battle against the press is working and the fact that they have restricted their press briefings is working. Now it appears that even President Trump's White House schedule is no longer being made public.

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