Sean Spicer took to the podium for his first White House press conference on Monday afternoon since slipping into his new title of the White House press secretary. Over the weekend, Spicer took to the microphone to speak with reporters, but because he didn’t take questions during his first time at the podium, it wasn’t a press conference by definition.
Today, Spicer did take questions, and it didn’t take long for reporters to probe into the inauguration head count. The same holds true for questions being asked over the story concerning the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. Over the weekend, Spicer lambasted the press for their “fake reports,” and the very heated reprimand left many reporters stunned. Today, Spicer’s demeanor had changed drastically, as he was much more cordial when addressing the reporters in the White House Press Room.
Fox News called this a “press briefing,” and reports have the new White House press secretary doing a good job at his first event of this type. No matter what questions were asked and answered, the questions on the inauguration head count and why it conjured up so much fury kept surfacing. When some of the reporters were looking for detailed answers on different subjects, Spicer used the excuse that “this is only our first working day” when not answering them. This is a line he revisited a few times throughout this press conference.
CNN called Spicer’s first press conference, “a rapid-pace affair that jumped from topic to topic at a steady clip.” While many issues were touched on, not much detail went into answering them. During his conference on Monday, Spicer still echoed the administration’s feelings on the erroneous reporting of the Martin Luther King Jr. bust being removed from the Oval Office. He asked the crowd in front of him if they realized how “racially charged” this story could have become.
While his demeanor during Monday’s press conference was much more refrained, a bit of angst did bubble up when talking about the false reporting of the MLK bust. Once he finished taking the press through the drill of why false reporting can be so harmful, he moved on to other things. The subject didn’t stay dormant for long, as he had to address this again later in the conference when he was challenged on what he had said about the numbers at the inauguration.
Damn! Sean Spicer is so smart and well-prepared! Great press conference at White House! Great team by President Trump ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/5DbWh0QaEW— Trump Rebuilds USA (@Corporatocrazy) January 23, 2017
One reporter called Spicer on the statement he made saying that Trump had more people attend his inauguration than any past inauguration. Spicer said that is not what he had stated. He corrected the reporter cordially, telling him that his original statement wasn’t presented this way. He originally said that more people witnessed Trump’s inauguration in person and around the globe than they have in the past.
Spicer conveyed that he combined the number of people in person at the Washington event and the people watching via the telecast around the globe, and he reiterated that this was the biggest audience to ever watch a president’s inauguration event. The White House press secretary did show a bit more frustration as the reporters repeatedly asked him about Trump’s concern over the reporting of the numbers at the inauguration event. Spicer’s voice got a bit louder when he said that there’s a constant attempt to undermine the amount of support that Trump has behind him. He made sure to stress “this is not about the numbers,” it is much more than that.
He continued by calling it “demoralizing” to turn on the TV day after day and hear how Trump’s crowds aren’t that big, said Spicer. He also said that while he was sitting at the inauguration and looking out at the amount of people there to support President Trump, he was in awe. The amount of people at the event was astronomical, yet the press underplayed the numbers. It is not about the numbers, Spicer said, it is the determination of the press to discredit President Trump’s support, which is echoed in the numbers.
In between the rehashing of head counts and the MLK bust story, Spicer did answer some of the other questions. Spicer said that Trump has not asked the intelligence agencies to put a halt to their investigation over Trump’s administration and Russia. He also conveyed that Trump signed an executive order to pull out of the TPP. Spicer told the reporters how Trump wants to work at developing a bilateral agreement with countries. He also said that any country that is battling ISS, Trump is willing to work with, and that includes Russia.
Watch: President Donald Trump meets with union leaders at the White House pic.twitter.com/Y1Y0qZhpfR— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 23, 2017
Shortly after the press conference, news that Trump met with union leaders was released. According to reports, Trump was given a round of applause for signing an executive order to pull the U.S. out of the TTP trade deals, according to Fox News.
[Featured Image by Ron Sachs/AP Images]