CNN Reporter Fumes at Spicer During Off-Air White House Briefing: 'Why Not Turn the Cameras on, Sean?'

June 26, 2017

CNN reporter Jim Acosta repeatedly and heatedly asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer why the cameras were not allowed to be on during Monday's White House press briefing.

Spicer appeared to call on another reporter but Acosta cut in to ask a question.

"There's no camera on, Jim," Spicer said, seeming to take a shot at Acosta for showing off on television.

"Maybe we should turn the cameras on, Sean," Acosta said. "Why don't we turn the cameras on? Why don't we turn the cameras on?"

Spicer tried to call on the other reporter while Acosta kept going.

"Why not turn the cameras on, Sean? They're in the room. The lights are on," Acosta said.

Acosta and Spicer have had several on-air spats during White House briefings. Acosta last week blasted Spicer as "kind of useless" for not giving answers to questions and for doing briefings off the air.

The White House has more frequently conducted off-air briefings in the past month, breaking recent tradition that they appear either live on television or an online livestream.

Acosta revisited the question later in the briefing, and White House reporter and CNN contributor April Ryan said it was a "legitimate question."

"You are a taxpayer-funded spokesman for the United States government. Can you at least give us an explanation for why the cameras are off?" Acosta asked.

"Some days we'll have them, some days we won't," Spicer said of on-air briefings, adding it was not inconsistent with what the administration had said since "day one."

Acosta tweeted out #whyarethecamerasoff shortly afterwards. CNN aired the entire audio of the briefing once it was concluded.

UPDATE: 2:59 P.M.: This article was updated with additional audio from the briefing.