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White House to Add 'Skype Seats' to Daily Press Briefing

February 2, 2017

Four people will join the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday, as the "inaugural panelists" for "Skype seats," press secretary Sean Spicer said.

The cyberseats are an attempt by the Trump administration to open the briefings to a more diverse group of journalists, as well as allow outlets without traditional White House access and outside the nation's capital at the briefings.

The White House has not said how the Skype panelists were selected, although Spicer said that anyone applying for the seat must live at least 80 kilometers from Washington.

Taking part Wednesday via video conferencing will be Natalie Herbick of FOX 8 TV in Cleveland, conservative talk radio host Lars Larson, Kimberly Kalunian of WPRI Radio in Rhode Island, and Jeff Jobe of Kentucky's Jobe Publishing.

"I look forward to virtually welcoming them to the briefing room," Spicer said Tuesday.

Skype, owned by Microsoft, is the world's largest video calling service.

In announcing the Skype seats on January 23, Spicer said, "I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the Beltway."

The press secretary told Yahoo News he hoped to make the video conferencing with journalists a daily occurrence.

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