Sean Spicer kicks off press briefing Q&A by yelling at everyone for 10 minutes
White House press secretary Sean Spicer couldn’t have been looking forward to Thursday’s daily briefing since he’d likely have to answer for Trump’s proposed budget, his second attempt at a Muslim ban getting shot down by a federal judge, the new revelation that former national security adviser Michael Flynn made a shit ton of money for speeches in Moscow, the Senate Intelligence Committee not finding jack shit to back up Trump’s baseless wiretapping claim, and one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers pledging a lifelong oath of allegiance to Hungarian Nazi sympathizers.
Spicer handled the challenging task ahead of him the best way he knew how: By showing up to the lectern an hour late and yelling at everyone as soon as the Q&A portion began. The press secretary blew his top after ABC News’ Jon Karl kicked off the session by asking Spicer to comment on the Senate Intelligence Committee statement that its investigation found “no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”
Karl asked: “Are you saying that the president still stands by his allegation that President Obama ordered wire tapping of Trump Tower despite the fact that the Senate Intelligence Committee says they see no indication that it happened? They said they see no indication.”
“He stands by it!” a clearly heated Spicer responded. “The bottom line is the president said last night that there will be additional information coming forward. There’s a ton of media reports out there that indicate that something was going on during the 2016 election.”
Spicer wasted no time raising his voice, getting combative with Karl and CNN’s Jim Acosta, providing an extended and angry dramatic reading of the press clippings to the crowd, yelling at the press for not covering the stories he wants covered, and then citing motherfucking Sean Hannity. He also yelled at reporters to “calm down” when they’d try to interject some clarity or factual refutation into Spicer’s tirades. The press corps seemed plenty calm, it was Spicer who looked like he could use a cup of herbal tea and a hot stone massage.
Shit was wild.
Acosta incredulously pointed out that Spicer cited Fox News propaganda spigot Hannity to back up Trump’s wiretapping claim over the lawmakers and intelligence officials who haven’t been able to substantiate the president’s paranoid flights of fancy. That just pissed Spicer off further.
“How do you seem to be such an expert?” Spicer asked.
“I’m saying this has been looked at,” Acosta said.
“How do you know that it’s been looked at?” Spicer countered.
“There have been hearings,” Acosta said.
“I’m sorry,” said Spicer, “can you tell me how you know that all of this is — quote — being looked at?”
“You have a Senate and House intelligence committee,” said Acosta, “both leaders from both parties on both of those panels saying that they don’t see any evidence of any wiretapping.”
Spicer then tried to lean on the ol’ “wiretapping was in quotes” defense.
“It sounds like, Sean,” said Acosta, “that you and the president are saying now, ‘We don’t mean wiretapping anymore, that’s not true anymore. So now we’re going to expand it to other forms of surveillance.’ What’s it going to be next?”
“Jim, I think that’s cute, but at the end of the day, we’ve talked about this,” Spicer said. “The president had the quote wiretapping in quotes, he was referring to broad surveillance. The bottom line is the investigation by the House and the Senate has not been provided all of the information.”
In case you’re wondering, this week’s “SNL” is a rerun.
[screen shot: MSNBC]