KISS frontman Gene Simmons delivers briefing at Pentagon podium that has not seen a spokesperson in almost a year

Posted Thursday, 16 May 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)As the frontman of KISS, Gene Simmons occupies rarefied air — a rock star who entertains arenas filled with adoring fans. On Thursday, Simmons joined another exclusive club, conducting only the second on-camera press briefing at the Department of Defense in the last year. The only other person to stand at the Pentagon Briefing Room podium over the past year? The movie star Gerard Butler, who was there last October to promote a new movie. It's just the latest sign of the Trump administration's ongoing marginalization of the press briefing, long a conduit through which the president and the cabinet have communicated policies and priorities to the news media and the public. Simmons was on hand Thursday to address Department of Defense personnel and meet with outreach officials as part of a Pentagon initiative to engage the broader public with regards to military activities. He also paid a visit to the White House later in the day.The last time a press secretary briefed reporters on camera at the Pentagon was May 31, 2018. The White House press briefing, meanwhile, is in the midst of an unprecedented drought. Come Friday, it will have been 67 days since White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has held a press briefing. "The White House hasn't held press briefing in so long that the lectern in the briefing room is quite literally gathering dust," CNN White House reporter Maegan Vazquez tweeted Wednesday, posting a photo of the particles that had collected on the lectern. Ever since Trump was elected, aides made it clear that changes were coming to the daily press briefing, initially experimenting with a ban on cameras. But two years into Trump's presidency, the modifications to the format have given way to what in some places in DC looks like the tradition's virtual extinction. CNN's Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr contributed reporting.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)What do Lil Nas X, Steely Dan and Lizzo have in common? Maybe nothing other than that they're all high up on former President Barack Obama's summer 2019 playlist -- but that's a pretty cool place to be."With summer winding down, here's a sampling of ...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)In Florida, golfers play by a different set of rules. And one of the rules may or may not include ignoring giant, scary alligators.Professional wakeboarder Steel Lafferty was playing golf at the ChampionsGate Country Club in Orlando ...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Leila Salazar-López is the executive director of Amazon Watch. Lindsey Allen is the executive director of the Rainforest Action Network. The views expressed in this commentary belong to the authors. View more opinion at CNN. (CNN)Called "the lungs of...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)For more than a decade, the United States maintained its dominance in international men's basketball. All of that changed Saturday, when Team USA lost its first game since 2006 to Australia.The Boomers, ranked 11th by the International Basketball...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Sure, Labor Day's official job is to honor anyone in the workforce, but it's also America's sayonara to summer. And for everyone who sweatily slogged through July, the hottest month on Earth on record, it can't come soon enough. Even though Labor...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A 6-month-old girl was in critical condition after crossing the US-Mexico border with her father in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, US Customs and Border Protection said Saturday. The girl was among a group of 21 people apprehended about 1:30 a.m....

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The Jonas Brothers left thousands of their Toronto fans feeling cheated after ending their Friday concert early due to "an unforeseen technical difficulty."The band was playing at Scotiabank Arena as part of their #HappinessBeginsTour when the...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)If you open up a Google window and search "The Wizard of Oz," the results page may seem pretty average.That is until you click on the ruby slippers, appearing next to the movie's name.Voila! You've been whirl-winded back in time to a search results...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Thousands of protesters marched at G7 protests near the French coastal resort of Biarritz to demand action from world leaders.Protesters descended on the town of Hendaye -- on the French border with Spain -- to protest against economic and climate...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Police in Long Beach, California, are mourning a K9 officer that died apparently of heat-related causes in a department vehicle.The dog, Ozzy, was found by its handler when both were off-duty about 3:40 p.m. on August 14, the Long Beach Police...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump claimed he has the "absolute right" to "order" US companies to stop doing business with China that would involve using his broad executive authority in a new and unprecedented way under a 1977 law. On Friday, China...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)An 8-year-old girl was killed and three other people were injured in a shooting near a preseason high school football event Friday night in St. Louis, and investigators are looking for whoever fired the shots, police said.The girl is the 12th child...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The wait is over. Frank Lampard can tick his first win as Chelsea head coach off his to-do list after his faith in his young Chelsea squad was rewarded with an away win at Norwich.The average age of Lampard's starting line-up during an entertaining...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN)British Airways pilots will strike in September for three days over a pay dispute, the first pilot walkout in about four decades.Their union, the British Airline Pilots Association, on Friday announced the three dates — September 9, 10...

Posted Saturday, 24 August 2019 ‐ CNN

Khartoum, Sudan (CNN)Deposed Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir is hoping to be released from jail on bail while he awaits his fate in a corruption trial that has captivated the country. Bashir, who was ousted in a military coup in April following a...