WH announces first picks for 'Skype seats' at press briefings

WH announces first picks for 'Skype seats' at press briefings
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The White House has announced the first four people selected for the launch of "Skype seats," aimed at allowing individuals outside Washington, D.C., to participate in the daily White House press briefings.

Natalie Herbick of Fox 8 in Cleveland, conservative radio talk show host Lars Larson of "The Lars Larson Show," Jeff Jobe of Jobe Publishing in Kentucky and Kimberly Kalunian of WPRI in Providence, R.I., will all be joining the Wednesday press briefing via video conferencing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday.

Kalunian interviewed Spicer, a Rhode Island native, shortly after he got the press secretary job.

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"Not sure how she snuck in there," Spicer joked.

"I look forward to virtually welcoming them to the briefing room," he added.

Skype is the world's largest video calling service and is owned by Microsoft.

Spicer announced last week during his first official press briefing that in order to be considered for a Skype seat, a media member would need to live more than 50 miles from Washington.

Spicer added that the technology would open up briefings to a “diverse group” of journalists who can’t afford to travel to D.C.

The former Republican National Committee spokesman told The Hill earlier this month that taking questions from those not physically in the room was being considered.

“Maybe we solicit talk radio and regional newspapers to submit questions — because they can't afford to be in Washington — but they still have a question," Spicer said in an interview Jan. 8.

"Maybe we just let the American people submit questions that we read off as well,” he added.

Taking questions from reporters not in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House would be a first for any administration.