Trump: I told Sanders not to hold press briefings

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has instructed White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders not to hold regular press briefings, claiming the media cover her unfairly.

"The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the 'podium' much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press," the president said on Twitter. "I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!"

Sanders has not yet held a regular briefing in 2019. The last took place Dec. 18, and was her only briefing that month.

The current gap in briefings has taken place amid an ongoing partial government shutdown over Trump's request to have lawmakers provide him with nearly $6 billion in appropriations to fund a separation barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sanders' increasingly rare appearances at the White House podium have drawn criticism from the media.

White House deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley said earlier Tuesday that Sanders would return "when she finds a reason to do that."

"Sarah Sanders will absolutely be back to the podium…delivering the message to the American people," Gidley told Fox News.

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