Where in the world was Sean Spicer? The White House press secretary seemed to disappear Tuesday night after his short briefing with Fox and CNN. His job was to either explain why Donald Trump pink-slipped the FBI Director James Comey or else to go vague.
The press secretary left the biefing, but then he ran into a problem when he tried to get back to his West Wing office. Rather than face reporters vying for information on the stunning news about Comey, Spicer decided to hide with his staff in the dark behind some bushes.
The White House was caught unaware about the blowback that resulted from firing Comey. The administration was genuinely surprised at the result, apparently believing the Democrats could not criticize it. Trump’s staff fully believed that the people on the left side of the aisle had no leg to stand on, because these Democratic politicians had condemned Comey earlier.
Spicer wanted to release the news of the FBI director’s firing via email, but he was not quick enough. He was in the press office doorway a little after 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, when reporters began shouting questions at him.
Rather than respond to the questions, he disappeared but not before he locked the door to his office. One of his staffers said it was possible the press secretary would do a briefing, then the staffer said it was out of the question for the rest of the night. Then, that changed.
After Trump began getting criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, several White House spokespeople, including Spicer, hurried out to the White House drive. They were there to speak to Fox News, Fox Business, and CNN.
After the briefing, Spicer realized that he and his cohorts could not return to their offices without passing reporters hungry for news, so they hid behind a some bushes. Then, Spicer sent out one of his executive assistants Janet Montesi to tell them the press secretary would take a few questions – without the cameras.
According to the Washington Post, Spicer emerged and commanded the press to:
‘Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off. We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?’
As the press secretary stood in the dark between two high hedges, a group of reporters threw questions at him. Spicer’s responses moved from joking to frustration for the 10 minutes he stood there.
The reporter’s questions flew fast and furious. According to WaPo one asked:
‘Did the president direct Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to conduct a probe of FBI Director James B. Comey?’
Spicer responded “It was all him.” The next questions asked if Sessions involved? Spicer became less forthcoming as the questions continued. The WaPo displayed White House press secretary’s rote answers:
‘That’s something you should ask the Department of Justice.’
‘That’s, again, a question that you should ask the Department of Justice.’
‘No, I don’t believe, I don’t know how that sequence went — I don’t know.’
‘Again, I have to get back to you on the tick-tock.’
‘Uh, I don’t know. I don’t know. There’s some — I don’t know. I don’t know.’
‘I don’t — we can follow — I can try, yeah.’
‘I don’t, I don’t … I can look at the tick-tock. I’m not sure.’
‘I get it, but you asked me a question and that’s the answer.’
‘You’d have to ask the Department of Justice.’
‘Again, I would refer you to the Department of Justice.’
‘I’m not — I’m not aware of any.’
‘We’ll see what the schedule says. I don’t — I just — I’ve been a little tied up.’
Not enough said.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Win McNamee.
H/T: Washington Post.