In a press briefing so crucial that both ABC and NBC interrupted regular programming to air it live, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer ceded the podium Wednesday to Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Given the stunning termination of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, it appeared telling that Huckabee Sanders was tapped to conduct just her second on-air briefing in such a high-pressure situation.
Is this a sign of things to come? A new report suggests that it very well could be.
According to CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who cites two unnamed White House officials as his sources, “officials at the highest levels including the President are ‘monitoring’ Huckabee Sanders” — who will conduct the briefings for the rest of this week. Those officials, including the President, were reportedly not pleased with how Spicer handled the release of the news of Comey’s termination.
WH sources: Highest levels incl. POTUS evaluating Sanders subbing for Spicer in briefing room. Last night an "embarrassment.. disaster."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 10, 2017
Brooke Baldwin summarized Acosta’s reporting during her show on Wednesday.
“Two senior White House officials were sharply critical of the press shop’s handling of the Comey news last night,” Baldwin said. “It was ‘an embarrassment.’ One official ‘a disaster.’ Said another who added that the President himself thought it was handled poorly.”
The CNN report comes following a Washington Post article which describes an-almost comic sequence on Tuesday night as Spicer spoke to reporters off camera on the White House grounds:
After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this… Can you just turn that light off?”
If the CNN report is accurate, Spicer may soon come to regret that wish.
Watch above, via CNN.
[featured image via screengrab]
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