Starting this week, the White House will open up four so-called Skype seats to reporters outside of Washington, DC. Press secretary Sean Spicer announced the move in a briefing today, one that he says will “open up the briefing room to journalists who live beyond 50 miles” of the DC area. Spicer also explained that the virtual access will give news outlets that don’t have press passes or the financial resources to travel a chance to attend White House news sessions.
“I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the Beltway,” Spicer said.
This announcement of online access comes a week after reports indicatedPresident Donald Trump was considering moving press conferences to the Executive Office Building next door to the White House. While some saw the chatter as a means of limiting access to the White House, chief of staff Reince Priebus said the move would be to accommodate more attendees than the current room allows.