Why Did the Trump Administration Make the Russia Briefing an Off-the-Record Event?

Reporters were confused earlier today as a Trump Administration briefing on Russia was made an off-the-record event at the last minute.

The briefing’s change came on the heels of the revelation that Russia knew in advance about Syria’s chemical attack on its own civilians.


From: Joseph, Cameron
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 6:06 PM
Subject: Pool report 5: Briefing made off-record

The White House had promised a background briefing on Russia. It was changed when it began to an off-the-record, un-reportable briefing. Michael Anton offered to answer any questions about what was discussed.

Cameron Joseph
Washington Bureau Chief
New York Daily News

It’s apparently not that common for a briefing to be made off-the-record so suddenly, according to Tommy Christopher over at Share Blue.

I’m not infinitely more curious as to what the administration wants to keep a secret now. I mean, it’s not too secret, and I suppose something could leak out, but still.

We just got over an administration that pulled the veil of secret and executive privilege when it could to keep things quiet. The so-called “scandal-free” Obama years were filled to the brim with secrecy. Making a briefing about Russia – what we know about their doings in Syria, what they are planning, what we are going to do, etc. – an off-the-record event smells suspiciously like those years did.


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