"Maybe we should turn the cameras on Sean".
Spicer did not call on Acosta during the entire briefing, but he interrupted during other questions with reporters. Acosta, however, wasn't ready to let it go.
Spicer said "some days we'll have them" on camera, some days not.
Listen to the exchange below.
The lack of televised press briefings represents a complete reversal of the White House's previous attitude toward briefings.
The White House has appeared to adopt a communications strategy of dealing primarily with its base of supporters, as witnessed by Trump's two interviews in the past week with Fox News Channel's morning show, "Fox & Friends". "My sense is that we are going to have to engage in a sustained, vocal protest of these restrictions so this does not become the new normal", he said. "Look at the number of questions that get asked over and over again just so a reporter can get a clip of themselves saying something or yelling at someone".
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'It's a legitimate question, ' Ryan said. A third reporter, Trey Yingst of One America News Network, asked Spicer for a response.
"Yeah, some days we'll have them and some days we won't", Spicer replied, pointing out that President Donald Trump was speaking on camera later in the day with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Audio from the briefing was embargoed until the event had ended. "We are sitting in a briefing room full of cameras and taxpayer funded spokesman at podium".
Acosta asserted that CNN has been "blackballed" from asking questions at press briefings and news conferences - an alleged ban that calls to mind the Obama White House's attempts to freeze out Fox News in 2009. Has it been the fake news media?
The new standard established by Spicer has served as a blanket excuse to keep the confrontational battles with the press that have frequently centered on charges having to do with Russian Federation and inquiries about the president's tweets out of the public eye as the White House reportedly searches for a new spokesman. He - and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders - tend to be extremely terse when answering questions and, when asked about President Trump's view on a particular issue, often insist they simply haven't asked the president. Once it was over, several news outlets aired the briefing in its entirety.
Acosta spoke with White House press aides, returned with a CNN placard, and sat in a seat in the front row that was left empty. The White House said Trump wasn't answering questions.