Fox reporter and Sanders spar words

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As the Trump administration continues to restrict the press corp’s coverage during daily press briefings, sour feelings around the issue remain.

During Tuesday’s press briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts sparred over the issue.

There hasn’t been an on-camera press briefing at the White House since June 29, and the corp is becoming more agitated about it. When Roberts started to leave before the briefings’ conclusion, Sanders noted his early departure.

“John Roberts is bored today. He’s stepping out,” she joked.  Roberts quickly retorted, “If it was on camera, I might not be.”

As Roberts explained later in a series of tweets, he wasn’t bored or protesting, but had left the briefing in order to make a pre-arranged, early appearance on Fox with host Shephard Smith.

At the start of his segment with Roberts, Smith played the audio from the briefing, but made note of the fact that “John Roberts came out early to be with us” before doing so.

Roberts also shot out a two-part tweet explaining his response to Sanders. When combined, it read:

“To all who are musing over me leaving the [Sanders] Briefing…I have a live shot. Had the brief been on camera, it would have been on TV, not me. I would have waited until it was over.”

While the press continues to fume, the president’s press staff says the alteration to the briefing format is meant to allow President Trump to be his own spokesman. The White House press office intends to ensure the media focus is on what the president is communicating on any given day.

On June 19, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the corp, “I’ve said this since the beginning. The president spoke today, he was on-camera. … There are days that I’ll decide that the president’s voice should be the one that speaks and iterate his priorities.”

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