Tag Archives: Sean Spicer

(Crowd) size really must matter

You mean we’re still talking about the size of that inaugural crowd this past January? We’re still arguing over whether it measured up to what the brand new president of the United States called it — the largest gathering of human beings in world history … or something like that?

I guess in Donald J. Trump’s world, size matters.

The National Park Service’s inspector general now says the agency didn’t mess with the crowd size estimates of Trump’s inaugural nor did it leak any information to the media.

The Hill reports on the IG’s findings. Read the story here.

This malarkey about crowd size seemed to get under the president’s skin early this year. Various media published pictures showing the crowd gathered in front of Capitol Building at President Barack Obama’s first inaugural in 2009 and compared it to the crowd that heard Trump’s speech this past January. Obama’s crowd was, um, quite a bit larger.

Trump didn’t like hearing that. White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s initial press briefing included a serious scolding of the media for failing to report that the president’s inaugural crowd was the largest in history. The pictures, though, tell a different story.

Will this spell the end of this mini-tempest? Probably not, as long as Donald John Trump is president of the United States.

The WH shakeup has begun

Mike Dubke is out as White House communications director.

Sean Spicer won’t be meeting face to face as often with the White House media as press secretary.

A fiery former Donald J. Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, might be returning to the inner circle, which reportedly might trigger more departures from the White House.

And all the while, the president of the United States insists that the White House is running like a “fine-tuned machine.” All cylinders are firing as they should. The president hit a “home run,” he said, on his first foreign trip.

I’ll stick with what former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — and one-time GOP presidential rival — said about Trump.

He ran as a “chaos candidate” and is governing as a “chaos president.”

Sean Spicer: dead man walking

I guess Sean Spicer won’t be the White House press secretary much longer.

Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle is talking out loud about negotiations she has entered to become the next press flack at the White House.

I find it fascinating to the max that Spicer would be hung out to dry in public by the White House and, presumably, by the president of the United States.

To borrow a phrase from a long time ago — I refer to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s — it suggests that Donald John Trump is making Spicer “twist slowly in the wind.”

In an odd sort of way, Guilfoyle’s public acknowledgement that she’s in the running to replace the press secretary makes me feel a bit of sympathy for Sean Spicer.

He deserves better treatment than what he appears to be getting.

Trump seeks to plug leaks … how?

Someone might have to explain this to me.

Donald John Trump reportedly is mad as hell. The White House leaks like a sieve. Someone or some people inside the place might be blabbing to the media about the inner workings of the Trump administration.

So what might the president do to curb the leaks? Why, shoot, he might just fire the press secretary, the White House chief of staff, the president’s legal counsel and his chief political strategist.

That’s the report being discussed by the chattering class in Washington, D.C. Press flack Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus, legal eagle Don McGahn and strategist Stephen Bannon could be out.

What, then, might happen to the leak issue? It could turn into a deluge if the president decides to cut these four guys loose. They would be untethered from the White House and could tattle to their hearts’ content about all they know, what they have seen and heard and who has done what to whom inside the Trump White House.

Look, we’re only 100-and-some days into an administration that hopes to last another three-plus years. The president already is talking about running for re-election and, in fact, has released what looks and sounds like a 2020 campaign commercial.

Each day brings new surprises. Each dawn produces news of a not-so-flattering kind. The president cannot contain his Twitter fetish.

He’s worried about leaks. So his remedy might be to unleash four of his top guns into the public to, um, possibly spill their guts?

This is not how you govern, Mr. President. Really and truly.

Spicer a goner at the White House?

The Washington, D.C., rumor mill is clattering like crazy as the next work week gets set to commence.

It involves White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who might be on his way out after only 100-some days on the job. Reports have surfaced that Donald John Trump might axe Spicer; that he’s angry with him; that the White House’s chief spokesman has been inarticulate and clumsy during his daily press briefings.

I am going to concede that Spicer might have the toughest job in the federal government. I mean, think of it. He has to interpret the musings of the president of the United States who one might say is, well, a bit inarticulate and clumsy himself.

How does the press spokesman expect to be on top of his game when the president is nowhere close to being on top of his game?

Spicer once served as press flack for the Republican National Committee, which was led by Reince Priebus, who’s now the White House chief of staff. Many other reports are circulating, too, that Priebus might be another victim of a Donald Trump purge of senior White House staffers.

This has been a rough intro to government and public policy for a presidential administration led by someone who spent his entire professional life enriching himself. He has zero public service experience, let alone any knowledge of how government works.

Now he might be getting ready to jettison his press spokesman and also — perhaps — his chief of staff.

You know what I sense? I sense a feeling of relief if the axe falls on both men.

POTUS keeps ’em hopping at White House

It’s tempting to feel a bit of sympathy for the White House media machine, and for the vice president, and for the senior West Wing advisers.

Why? They are working for someone who doesn’t have a clue on how to “control a message,” or even how to conduct the business of being president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Mike Pence, the vice president, said he acted on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Assistant AG Rod Rosenstein. But wait! Trump then said he decided before consulting with Sessions and Rosenstein to fire Comey.

Pence also said that the FBI probe into the Russia hacking matter had “nothing to do” with Trump’s decision to fire Comey. Then, what do you know? The president contradicted the VP directly by saying, yep, Comey was spending too much time on the “Russia thing.”

White House press flack Sean Spicer has been keeping a low profile since the stuff hit the fan. Deputy flack Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been back-filling like crazy, trying to provide some semblance of sense to the chaos that has enveloped the Trump administration. She’s not succeeding, though.

In the midst of all this the president is tweeting himself silly with threats to Comey about possible recordings of conversations. He’s continued his attack on the media, threatening to suspend the daily press briefings.

And the media haven’t yet asked him directly about whether he committed a conflict of interest violation by asking Comey directly if the FBI was investigating the president. Trump had the power all along to fire the FBI boss and he shouldn’t have even thought about meddling directly in an ongoing investigation. Holy cow, man!

It’s tempting, yes, to feel sympathy for the president’s senior staff.

I’m managing to resist falling for it, though. They all ought to have known what they were getting into when they signed on.

Where in the world is Sean Spicer?

This isn’t how it’s supposed to go.

The president of the United States makes — without question — the most controversial personnel decision of his administration and the White House press secretary is AWOL at the daily briefing for reporters. He’s supposed to “brief” the media on what’s happening in the White House.

Sean Spicer is nowhere to be seen or heard. Instead, he sends out his No. 2 press flack, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to tell the media that it’s time to “move on” after Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. He acted without warning. The dismissal surprised the FBI staff and reportedly the White House staff, too!

Why did the president axe the FBI boss? “He wasn’t doing a good job,” said the president. Well, that explains everything, right? Wrong!

The firestorm has erupted in the White House. Spicer reportedly is off doing Navy Reserve duty. Oh, but wait! The Navy says he can reschedule these duties when, um, other duties call — in this case duties involving the commander in chief.

Spicer ought to get back in a hurry

Sean Spicer is getting paid the big bucks to talk to the media. And, no, I don’t mean lecture them about how they’re doing their job and whether they’re telling the president’s story the way he wants it told.

The Comey firing is all over the newspapers and all over TV these days. The former FBI head man was pursuing an investigation involving the Trump presidential campaign and allegations that it might have colluded with Russian government officials/goons to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Except that Vice President Pence says the president’s decision to can Comey had nothing at all to do with the FBI’s probe into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election.

Do I believe that? Let me think. Umm. No!

The White House’s main press guy needs to speak to the media. He needs to be forthright. He needs to answer direct questions … well, directly.

Flynn story getting really curious … and scary

The hits keep coming as they regard a former national security adviser.

The ex-adviser is Michael Flynn, who lasted 24 whole days as Donald J. Trump’s right-hand man on national security issues. The president essentially fired him for lying to the vice president over his potential role in talks with Russian government officials.

Now comes this: We are hearing that the retired Army lieutenant general might have broken the law by failing to disclose that a foreign government paid him lots of money while he was working as an agent for a presidential candidate.

The Pentagon’s inspector general has launched an investigation into whether Flynn broke the law. The FBI already is examining whether the Trump campaign and the administration conducted improper — and possibly illegal — talks with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign.

It gets even dicier for Flynn and for the president. There are now suspicions that Flynn was taking money from Turkish government operatives while he was sitting in the Situation Room and functioning as the president’s national security adviser.

Does that mean that the president of the United States hired a foreign agent to serve as his go-to guy on national security?

Well, of course White House press secretary Sean Spicer sought a scapegoat for this mess. The real culprit is Barack H. Obama, whose administration granted Flynn his top secret clearance before the Trump administration took over, Spicer said.

Blame Obama: that’s the ticket

It’s often said that the cover-up usually is worse than the original offense. There seems to be some covering up going on.

Flynn faces possible prison time if he’s convicted of a crime relating to a failure to report the income he received. We’re hearing reports as well that the Pentagon allegedly warned Gen. Flynn about taking money from any foreign government and of the need to seek permission before accepting it. Flynn reportedly didn’t bother to check with the higher-ups before taking the money.

I am shaking my head. I am befuddled and baffled by the utter chaos that keeps unfolding within the Trump administration.

The president boasted about his team running like a “fine-tuned machine.” It keeps plowing into the proverbial ditch.

Now there might be something seriously frightening about the possibility that our national security adviser was wearing two hats, with the other one being that of a foreign agent.

Oh … my.

Smart man makes stupid point about Hitler

Sean Spicer is not a stupid man.

However, he made a stupid point this week using the time-honored reference to Adolf Hitler to make some kind of contemporary argument.

The White House press secretary said that Adolf Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on Holocaust victims, implying that Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s use of such weapons is even more despicable than anything Hitler did.

Time out!

How about stop using any references to Hitler? Spicer’s careless and reckless use of the historical record illustrates one of the risks involved with referencing the dastardly deeds of the 20th century’s most heinous tyrant.

I’m not going to invoke the “both sides do it” canard, which I believe is meant to dilute the transgression of one side’s error. Spicer has acknowledged forthrightly the gravity of his blunder and has manned up appropriately.

However, many of Donald Trump’s critics have used Hitler references to express their fear of what might occur during Trump’s presidency. I dislike those references, too.

If the White House press flack has learned any lesson from this unfortunate episode, it ought to be to steer far, far away from any references to Hitler.

For that matter, the lesson I want to impart is that Hitler’s deeds shouldn’t be compared to anyone else. The memories of millions of his victims compel us to recall with singular loathing the Nazi tyrant’s heinous record.

Spicer earns dubious place in flackery annals

As if we needed proof of the seemingly obvious …

Sean Spicer’s performance this week has confirmed what many Americans have long suspected, which is that he’ll go down in history as one of the most inept White House press flacks in the history of the office.

My goodness. How does one calculate the impact of this man’s performance as he sought to clarify, re-clarify, and then re-re-clarify a statement he made about the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on civilians?

However, at another level, I feel a bit badly for Spicer. He is merely representative of the most incompetent presidential administration I’ve ever witnessed. Hey, I’m now 67 years of age. I’ve been watching these transitions with some interest now for quite some time. I’ve witnessed presidents assemble governments quickly in the wake of intense national tragedy and national scandal. None of them compares with the bungling boobery  we’ve witnessed with the Donald John Trump administration.

Spicer this week demonstrated precisely the muddled messaging that occurs with startling regularity.

During his daily press briefing, Spicer said — during the week of Passover, for crying out loud! — that Adolf Hitler didn’t use “chemical weapons” on millions of Holocaust victims. Huh?

He implied that Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s gassing of civilians somehow was worse than what Hitler did to European Jews prior to and during World War II.

OK, then he backed off of that … more or less. He said he meant to acknowledge that Hitler gassed millions of people, but was comparing it to Assad’s use of aircraft to drop chemical weapons on “innocent victims.” OK. Then, did he mean that the Holocaust victims weren’t, uh, innocent?

No, that’s not what he meant … he said.

Throughout all this stumbling and bumbling, he dropped in the term “Holocaust center” to refer to the Nazi death camps erected throughout eastern and central Europe during World War II.

Social media exploded.

Finally, Spicer spoke to NBC News and offered a fulsome apology for the mistakes he made. I give him great credit for refusing to say, “If I offended anyone … “, which I consider to be the phoniest form of apology one can offer. He took ownership of his inarticulateness.

He came to the White House after serving as press secretary for the Republican National Committee. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when Trump selected him. Then, during his first press confrontation, he excoriated the media for reporting that Trump’s inaugural crowd was far smaller than the one that welcome Barack Obama in January 2009.

Actually, young man, the crowd was much smaller. There was no need to scold anyone in the media for reporting the truth. Thus, we heard the term “alternative facts” presented for the first time by another White House adviser, the inimitable Kellyanne Conway.

The president keeps telling us that things are going swimmingly at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., when in fact they are not. The president cannot fill key staff jobs; critical political appointments haven’t been made. So, Mr. President, stop insulting our intelligence by repeating such outright falsehoods about your “fine-tuned machine.”

Now we hear that the annual White House Easter Egg Roll — set for Monday — is in trouble because the administration lacks the staff to assemble an event that has become a staple of first families’ occupancy of the White House.

Speaking of first families, where is the first lady, Melania Trump? Isn’t it her responsibility to put this event together?

I’m actually beginning to pity Sean Spicer. He delivered a clunker of a performance this week. It’s tough being the face and the voice of a presidential administration that doesn’t have a clue.