Pro-Trump site gets 1st question at White House briefing
White House Press secretary Sean Spicer is seen on television broadcast monitors as he speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
NEW YORK — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took the first question at his briefing Tuesday from a reporter who works for LifeZette, a website founded by Donald Trump supporter Laura Ingraham that published some untrue stories during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Last year, LifeZette released a video, ‘Clinton Body Count,’ that promoted a conspiracy theory that Hillary and Bill Clinton had ties to the deaths of several colleagues and Democrats. Another video posted two weeks before the election promoted false claims that voting machines in 16 states could be compromised because they were linked to a company tied to liberal activist George Soros.
LifeZette features a mix of conservative politics, lifestyle and consumer articles and videos. Its home page Tuesday featured a story about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady calling Trump to congratulate him on becoming president, one that questioned the purpose of last weekend’s women’s march, and another in which Fox News’ Sean Hannity condemned Trump officials who had leaked information to the press.
Tuesday’s briefing was another indication of how press relations have changed with the onset of a new administration in Washington.
The reporter, Jim Stinson, asked Spicer when President Trump would follow through on campaign promises about immigration.
Ingraham, a conservative radio host, was among those the new president considered to serve as his press secretary. She was given a prominent speaking role at the Republican convention last summer.
Spicer taking the first question from Stinson attracted notice because, before Trump, major news outlets were traditionally called upon to open White House press conferences and briefings.