There are potentially dozens of reasons why White House press briefings are now routinely held off-camera. Many explanations revolve around press secretary Sean Spicer. The man has been caught hiding in bushes to avoid reporters, spouting ridiculous nonsense about Hitler not using chemical weapons, and getting owned by Melissa McCarthy) on SNL.
Considering Spicer’s troubles, and the man he’s working for, it’s not particularly surprising that press briefings have been consistently scaled back to be less and less informative. It’s starting to look like just another way to shield a spectacularly scandal-prone administration.
Of course, there is another explanation for why White House press briefings aren’t held on-camera anymore. When The Atlantic reached out to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon for an explanation, Bannon was ready. Here’s what he texted back:
Sean got fatter.
There was no follow-up or context provided. Maybe Spicer doesn’t fit on camera anymore?
So there you have it. As Trump’s administration looks to replace Spicer—or possibly promote him, now that Communications Director Michael Dubke has left—it looks like his waistline may be a prominent factor in the decision making process. Fat-shaming seems a low blow for Bannon, but, honestly, it’s probably the least offensive thing he’s done in the past six months.