Top Trump adviser Steve Bannon reportedly said the reason White House press briefings were happening off camera lately was because “Sean got fatter,” and Chelsea Clinton is pissed.
As the White House has scaled back its longstanding tradition of daily on-camera briefings and replaced them with “gaggles” where reporters have sometimes been banned from shooting video or taking audio recordings, a lot of journalists have been pushing back – and getting few answers.
When an Atlantic reporter pressed Bannon on the issue, he reportedly texted the three-word response and didn’t respond to follow-up questions.
Joke or not, it was a response former first daughter Clinton did not find amusing.
“The White House using fat shaming to justify increased opacity. 2017,” she tweeted Tuesday morning, opening up the Twitter floodgates.
The White House using fat shaming to justify increased opacity. 2017. https://t.co/pWqupoAOXu— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 20, 2017
One tweeter accused Clinton’s tweet of being a "PR-managed response from the humor-impaired left."
"Just me as I was standing in line @ Starbucks earlier. Fat shaming isn't a joke I find funny. Ever,” Clinton tweeted back.
In just a few hours, the tweet has garnered over 1,800 comments. Here’s the basic breakdown: Conservatives think Bannon was joking and Clinton needs to lighten up, but Clinton thinks the decay of the daily press briefing underscores a culture of “opacity” at the White House.
Trump himself has said he would do away with the daily briefings, which have turned into a sort of media circus on the Trump administration’s watch.
Trump constantly contradicts statements both Spicer and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders make from behind the podium — the most flagrant example being the reasoning for why ex-FBI Director James Comey got the boot.
The White House actually held an on-camera briefing Tuesday with none other than Sean Spicer.
Despite a tempting offer by a Twitter user saying he would “Venmo any WH reporter $45 if they ask Spicer about Bannon saying he got fatter,” none of them did.