, 25 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
1. Welcome to today's White House #shadowbriefing. Today marks 6 months since the WH has held a Press Briefing. Let me start with an admission. I misled many of you by saying there will be surprises and door prizes today. That is not true and I regret that blatant lie.
2. But now that I've got you here, today will be a little different than normal. Sure I could take questions on a range of subjects where the President has lied, acted inappropriately or promoting some indefensible policy that undermines our democracy and. national security.
3. We could try to explain why the Chief of Staff threatened career public servants with firing if they didn't lie for the President. We could explain why well known bigot and village idiot @loudobbs was at the White House today. WE could comment on reports that @potus
4. is considering making concessions on sanctions to Iran in order to secure a meeting with the Iranian leader later this month in NYC. We could examine what the hell @realDonaldTrump is thinking by denying temporary status to the devastated people of the Bahamas, telling
5. they're not allowed to seek temporary refuge here in the United States. We could dissemble on the various positions the President has taken just today on gun legislation and how he intends to nothing without the NRA's approval. We could put in context how he referred to his
6. and son today like it was someone else's family. Or we could wrap up how @realDonaldTrump felt it was appropriate on this most solemn Remembrance Day in America to attack the media, his political opponents, his former staff and the Federal Reserve. Now you might think
7. I won't take questions because that's just too much to explain or defend. Not true. Today is just a normal fucking Weds with this crowd. By tomorrow will have another whole mess of things. So it's not that there is too much to explain, mock or criticize. But given today
8. marks 6 months since the WH briefing died, I thought I'd just make a statement and like my friends at the White House refuse to take questions. Let me start by saying whatever you think of any White House and whatever you think of the media, the White House daily press
9. Briefing is an essential part of our democracy. It is not always easy to go out and defend the President or the United States government. All Presidents do dumb things from time to time and the US government does screw things up even with the best intentions.
10. I know these things because I did the job for two years. whether it was political scandal, national security or difficult political decisions, we went out to brief the press every day. And we were not alone. Every President since Eisenhower found a way to do a form of a
11. press briefing in the best of times and the worst of times. Why did they do it. Because it was fun--not really. Because the Press Secretary wanted to be famous and get a lot of attention. Well maybe a few of them. Ultimately all Administrations did it because it kept a
12. solemn compact with the American people. That compact or agreement was in return for giving the President the power to govern, the White House would commit to keeping the public informed through the holding of the daily briefing. We've seen all sorts of characters holding
13. From the flamboyant Pierre Salinger, to engaging personalities like Mike McCurry and Tony Snow and the cerebral types like Bill Moyers and of course the pugnacious one's like Jody Powell. What they all had in common was a commitment to our democratic values which depends
14. on an informed public. Almost all of the Press Secretaries over time sought to tell the truth everyday. The ones that didn't, Ron Ziegler and Sean Spicer come to mind, at least showed up everyday even if you couldn't rely on what they said.
15. Beyond a commitment to our democracy there are several other important reasons to hold a briefing every day. The first is it allows the White House to get it's message out. That podium is the most powerful tool for driving message in DC short of the Oval Office. And the
16. way the President gets their agenda passed is by building public support, support that even an opposition Congress can't ignore. Second, it provides a decision making discipline the White House needs to have to succeed. I can't tell you how many times a decision got made
17. just before the 1p briefing because we didn't want to go out and say we haven't figured that one out yet. It also forces coordination among the entire Administration. Coordinating phone calls between WH, State, Pentagon and CIA daily ensured the country spoke with one voice
18. The various briefings were also a way to send a message to the rest of the world, our allies and our adversaries. They were invaluable in that way. If you ever wonder why the current Administration resembles the gang that couldn't shoot straight, not having the discipline
19. of a daily briefing is one reason that gets overlooked. I don't want to diminish here have a narcissistic, sociopathic, corrupt and lying President. That also contributes to the mess were in. But this crowd knows better. They are willing to give up a democratic tradition
20. that's spanned seven decades. Why? Because ultimately they are not committed to democracy, at least not the democracy that we all know. Let's review their performance. Sean Spicer let us know on the first day that the truth wasn't important. But to his credit, he showed
21. up every day. Sarah Sanders shared Spicer's aversion to the truth and contempt for the press and when the going got tough decided to stop showing up. @PressSec still hasn't found her way into the briefing room and has substituted real briefings with Pravda like tweets.
22. This is a disgrace and a national shame. We used to be, whether Democrat or Republican, a example for democracies and would be democracies around the world. Now we've descended into the semi banana republic behavior that we fought against for 250 years. Am I making too
23. much of this, perhaps. Can Democracy survive without a daily press briefing, of course it can. But sometimes the destruction of our values and political norms is happening right in front of our eyes if we bother to look. It's happening now. And if @PressSec disagrees
24. with a single word of this she can exit her office, walk down a few steps and face the press to make her case for why Donald Trump is good for America. Our country deserves at least that. Thank you for listening, I will dismount my high horse now and will be back tomorrow
25. take the questions that the White House refuses to take. And if they don't like the answers, they know what they can do.
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