A quick search of the present White House briefings (i.e. in the Biden administration) finds quite a few pressers (i.e. press releases) with unnamed "senior administration officials". e.g. 1, e.g. 2.

Typically these have a disclaimer like:

For your awareness, not for your reporting, on the call today, we have [senior administration official], [senior administration official], and [senior administration official]. [...]

As a reminder, this call was on background, attributable to “senior administration officials,” and it’s embargoed until 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, November 28.

Was this practice present in the previous/Trump administration?

I've done a custom date range Google search, but it doesn't seem to turn anything like that Jan 2017- Jan 2021.

Did they just used a different phrase then?

Anyhow, was this practice of having unnamed (in the sense of non-reportable name) officials give pressers as common in the previous (Trump) administration?

  • 2
    What is a “presser”? Nov 30, 2023 at 14:32
  • @EmilJeřábek: short for press conference. collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/presser Nov 30, 2023 at 14:45
  • 1
    The press pretty much tossed their ethics guidelines out the window when Trump took office. Back then it was all about leaks and anonymous sources. There was a lot of "anonymous source close to the White House" type reporting then. Additionally, the media and the Trump administration were mostly at odds with each other. The media and the Biden administration are rather cozy and much friendlier. So there will be an adjustment to the language used to produce the same type of reports.
    – David S
    Nov 30, 2023 at 16:09
  • 1
    @DavidS: I found one from the Clinton era clintonwhitehouse5.archives.gov/WH/New/SouthAsia/briefings/… Nov 30, 2023 at 16:17
  • 2
    I removed the comparative-politics tag as that refers to international political system comparisons. I added a media tag. I also added some minor format and clarifying language to the body text.
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 30, 2023 at 18:15


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