This is probably not the first day on the job that Sean Spicer imagined it would be.
Already he has done a merry-go-round of morning show appearances since it was announced Thursday that he will serve as our nation’s next White House Press Secretary, set to take office with the Trump administration next month. However, his first day is off to an, uhh, let’s call it interesting start; during an off-air conversation this morning with Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC, the President-elect surprisingly said of nuclear proliferation, “Let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass. And outlast them all.”
Spicer a half hour later told TODAY’s Matt Lauer, “There is not going to be” an arms race, forced to clarify Trump’s comments that the MSNBC morning show reported on earlier in the day.
Then, remarkably, an hour later on CNN’s New Day, Spicer shrugged off the Brzezinski report altogether; during his interview with Alisyn Camerota, Spicer sheepishly admitted, “That was a private conversation. I was not privy to that.” He promptly shifted the focus of his response, telling the CNN anchor, “He is somebody who gets things done,” discussing the recent conversations over Carrier jobs in Indianapolis.
What’s unclear is if Trump’s comments to Brzezinski, then, were ever intended to be reported on, or if they were — as Spicer alleged on New Day — just a private comment made over the phone. Although Spicer himself appeared on Morning Joe earlier in the day, during a commercial break he spoke on the phone with Mr. President-elect who was then handed over to Brzezinski. It was then that he reportedly made his comment, “Let it be an arms race,” which the MSNBC anchor promptly reported on as breaking news when the show came back on air. Morning Joe ran “BREAKING NEWS” chyrons about the ‘arms race’ admission throughout the rest of the program.
We have reached out to MSNBC for comment. Watch Spicer’s comment to CNN above.
UPDATE 9:22 a.m. EST: A MSNBC spokesperson has confirmed to Mediaite that Trump’s comments to Brzezinski were reportable.
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