Spicer Repeats the Same Answer Over and Over After Reporters Hammer Him Over Flynn Timeline
During his press briefing from the James S. Brady Press Room in the White House today, press secretary Sean Spicer addressed the elephant in the room.
In his opening statement Spicer addressed the news of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn‘s sudden resignation by saying that the consideration within the administration was “not a legal issue, but rather a trust issue.” But that didn’t satiate the hungry reporters in the room, who grilled Spicer about the timeline of the past several days.
The first question went to Jon Karl of ABC News, who asked, “Why would the President — if he was notified seventeen days ago that Flynn had misled the Vice President, and that he was a potential threat to blackmail from the Russians — why would he be kept on for three weeks?”
“This was an act of trust,” Spicer said, indicating that the real factor up for consideration was whether Michael Flynn misled the Vice President intentionally. “The president evaluated the trust issue.”
The theme of this being a “matter of trust” would be repeated by Spicer over and over again throughout the course of the next several minutes; Major Garrett of CBS News followed up by asking Spicer if the president, “was being truthful,” when he seemed surprised on Friday at the news that Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions. Spicer picked apart the nuance of the question.
Spicer then invoked — for the second time in today’s press briefing — Charles Krauthammer‘s language on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News once again in his response in his own defense: “That’s what he’s supposed to be doing.”
“The president concluded he no longer had the trust of his National Security Advisor,” Spicer said.
But that wasn’t even enough for the reporters, who continued to dog the press secretary about the handling of General Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador in December and Flynn’s subsequent dealing with the White House.
A third reporter asked Spicer to address Monday’s timeline specifically, asking what happened between Kellyanne Conway‘s statement earlier in the day — when she said that Flynn “had the full confidence,” of the President — and the decision to ask for Flynn’s resignation.
“I’m not going to go into detail,” he said, furthering once again that “trust” was the main concern in the decision-making process. “What this came down to was a matter of trust,” he said, repeated his talking point for the umpteenth time. “That trust — or rather the erosion of that trust — was the issues,” Spicer replied yet again.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org