White House press briefings have gotten shorter every month in 2018: Washington Post

White House press briefings have gotten shorter every month in 2018: Washington Post
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The daily White House press briefings have grown shorter every month this year, according to a new analysis by The Washington Post

Briefings have shrunk by an average of three minutes each month since January — a rate that would make briefings nonexistent by November. 

May's briefings averaged about 17.6 minutes per session, a slight decline from the 19.1-minute average reported in April and 19.3-minute average in March, when the White House was grilled with questions about President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE's plan for import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The largest drop came between February and March when the sessions' average length dropped by more than six minutes. Last May, the sessions averaged 30.8 minutes. 

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A wider analysis by CNN last year found that briefings under the last Republican president, George W. Bush, averaged about 32 minutes during his eight years as president.

By contrast, the Obama administration's briefings lasted nearly an hour on average under multiple press secretaries, with Josh Earnest's sessions lasting nearly 70 minutes. 

The Post attributed the decreasing question-and-answer time to subtle maneuvers by the president's spokesmen, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders's frequent claims that the White House is on a tight schedule. 

Last year, the White House toyed with off-camera sessions under former press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerSean Spicer joins 'Extra' as 'special DC correspondent' White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Ex-White House aide Cliff Sims sues Trump MORE, who frequently had fiery exchanges with reporters in the briefing room.