The White House and the press have a contentious relationship, to say the least, and the Trump administration has placed increasingly strict restrictions on coverage of news briefings. Case in point: The White House has banned live audio and video coverage at every press briefing since June 29. Nearly a month later, a reporter defied the administration by live streaming the audio recording of an off-camera briefing.
Ksenija Pavlovic, founder of the news site Pavlovic Today, used her smartphone's periscope app to live stream audio of Wednesday's briefing. She shared a link to the feed on Twitter:
The sound quality was poor and Pavlovic's feed briefly cut out, but the act in itself could be a signal that other members of the media will follow suit. Reporters have made clear they're opposed to the restrictions and they've urged the communications team to allow live broadcasts, but they've continued to begrudgingly comply with the rules.
The audio aired on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, but the coverage was delayed due to White House instructions.
As Pavlovic was live streaming, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith reminded viewers of the White House's access restrictions.
“There is news from the briefing,” he said. “We get to listen to the briefing; they just won't let you listen to the briefing. It's the White House rules, not ours.”
Trump's repeated attacks on the media, which he refers to as the "enemy of the people," have become increasingly vitriolic and disturbing. Many people have been left wondering if and when reporters will rebel and whip out their smartphones during an off-camera briefing.
Pavlovic was the first journalist to flout the rules, but she may not be the last.