Tag Archives: Sean Spicer

WH press secretaries: from bad to worse to utterly abysmal

I never thought I would see the day when a White House press secretary could make Sean Spicer look good.

Consider this:

Spicer was the first White House press flack hired by Donald Trump. Spicer “distinguished” himself at his first press briefing by challenging media reports about the size of Trump’s inaugural crowd, contending that the president drew the largest such gathering in the nation’s history. It didn’t go well for Spicer after that. He resigned and now he’s on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders succeeded Spicer and became a shill for the serial liar who hired her. Sanders ended up suspending the White House press briefings altogether. She quit, too.

Now we have Stephanie Grisham, who this weekend said that former White House chief of staff John Kelly was — get ready for this one! — “totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president.”

Wow, man!

The “genius” of Donald Trump? She’s saying the president is a “genius”? The guy who cannot spell his way out of a third-grade lunchroom? The individual who conducts presidential policy nearly exclusively via Twitter? The candidate who launches into nonsensical, irrational, incoherent tirades at campaign rallies? The guy who cannot string two sentences together?

I know next to nothing about Stephanie Grisham, other than she has yet to answer questions in a roomful of reporters assigned to cover the White House.

Her statement about John Kelly — the decorated combat veteran, the retired four-star Marine Corps general, the Gold Star dad whose son died in combat in Afghanistan — confirms to me that her bulb is as dim as the one burning inside the skull of the president.

Spicer: Mueller probe is no ‘witch hunt’

Well, there you have it.

One of Donald John Trump’s staunchest defenders has gone on the record: Robert Mueller’s probe into possible “collusion” with Russians is “no witch hunt.”

So says former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who became famous — or infamous, depending on your point of view — during his initial press briefing in January 2017 by arguing with the media over their reporting of the size of Trump’s inaugural crowd.

That was then. Spicer said on “Today” that the special counsel investigation is serious. However, Spicer did hedge a bit.

“As of now, I see no evidence that it is,” he said on “Today.” Do you get it? As of now? He sees no evidence? He also said he sees “no evidence” of collusion with the Russians. “I think it’s very important to be clear that Russia meddled in our election and there’s no evidence of collusion,” Spicer said.

Whoa! We don’t know what Mueller has hidden from view. There well might be something to reveal eventually.

Yet, Spicer’s rather tepid defense of Mueller does strike me as a bit refreshing coming as it does from someone who made a name for himself during his time as press secretary as someone who’d run through a brick wall for the president of the United States.

I’ll take Spicer at his word that he doesn’t believe we are witnessing a witch hunt. If only he would stop pulling his punches.

Check out the interview here.

Yes, the White House is at ‘war’ with the media

White House press secretaries have a singular mission, which is to convey the message of the president to the American public.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is now performing that task to mixed reviews. Those who support Donald Trump’s agenda applaud her; those (of us) who don’t, well, we jeer her.

I’ll offer this jeer, therefore, to Sanders for saying that the White House is not “at war” with the media. Sure thing, Mme. Press Secretary.

Then, why does the president declare that the media are “the enemy of the American people”? Why does he keep insisting that media reports he finds objectionable come from what he refers to as “fake media”? Why does he disparage reporters individually, by name, along with their organizations?

Good grief, Sarah! The president declared war on the media long ago. The first press flack, Sean Spicer, fired the first barrage on Day One of the Trump administration when he challenged the media reporting of the size of the Trump inaugural crowd!

I am pretty certain the media believe they are in a state of “war” with the administration. Whether the White House’s “fine-tuned machine” believes it ignores what many of the rest of us realized long ago.

Sanders took part in a discussion of White House media relations with Mike McCurry, press secretary for the Clinton administration. McCurry, not surprisingly, took issue with Sanders’s assertion that there is no warfare taking place. He said the White House criticizes media reporting “every day,” which he considers to be a form of media war.

Read The Hill’s story here.

I am one of those former media guys who knows White House combat with the press when he sees it.

Thus, I believe Sarah Sanders is, um, quite wrong while she parrots the White House line on its relationship with the media.

Politics can be so very poetic

I know I am not the only American who believes this, but the possible partial government shutdown seems to sum up quite nicely the first year of Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency.

Politics can be, oh, so poetic at times.

Such as right now.

It is quite possible that we’re going to wake up Saturday with the government shuttering some of its doors and windows. And think of it: This event might occur on the exact date one year after Donald Trump took the presidential oath of office.

No Drama Obama handed the White House keys over to All Chaos All the Time Trump.

Ain’t it cool? Well, no. It’s not.

The government shutdown, if it comes, will signify to me that Donald Trump’s time as president has come to a form of full circle.

He stood on the Capitol podium one year ago and delivered that dark, forbidding inaugural speech. Then right out of the chute, brand new press secretary Sean Spicer scolded the White House press corps with a scathing rebuke of its reporting of the size of the president’s inaugural crowd.

That, dear reader, set the tone for how this administration was going to conduct business.

So, here we are. One year later, we’re about the close many government offices, denying services to Americans who are entitled to partake of services they pay for with their tax money.

Trump, meanwhile, is chiding Democrats because they insist on a funding bill that takes care of so-called “Dreamers,” those U.S. residents brought here illegally when they were children. Democrats are chiding Republicans over their insistence that a funding bill include money to build a “big, beautiful wall” along our southern border.

The president’s “leadership” on this government funding madness has been missing in action.

I’ll just remind you all that of all the principals involved in this fight, only one of them represents the entire country: the president of the United States.

To borrow a phrase, Donald Trump “is leading from behind.”

Ah, yes. The political poetry of this chaos is so very telling.

As is its irony.

Spicer makes fun of himself … what’s the big deal?

Count me as one American who has no problem with former White House press flack Sean Spicer making a surprise guest appearance at the 2017 Emmy Awards show.

I didn’t watch it live. I have no interest in entertainment awards shows.

But I heard about Spicer’s surprise cameo this morning. I saw the clip of him coming onstage behind the kind of mobile podium that the comedian Melissa McCarthy made famous in her “Saturday Night Live” skits mocking the embattled press secretary.

I heard about the “mixed reaction” to Spicer’s appearance. I also saw a column in this morning’s New York Times by one of my favorite columnists, Frank Bruni, who is just outraged that Spicer would do such a thing.

Good grief, dude. Get a grip.

I thought Spicer’s act at the Emmys was damn funny. I laughed out loud when I saw it this morning.

What does it tell me about this guy? It tells me he has a sense of humor. It tells me he doesn’t take himself super-seriously. He was able to poke fun at himself. I also could argue that in showing a self-deprecating side, he also poked a bit of fun at his former boss, Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States of America.

To the critics of Spicer’s guest gig at the Emmys, I want to say only to chill out. The guy was damn funny.

This is the guy who’ll keep the WH stories straight?

Anthony Scaramucci has a law degree and a pretty hefty financial pedigree.

Somehow, though, he got himself appointed White House communications director over the vehement objections of former press secretary Sean Spicer.

As I scanned Scaramucci’s record, I got a glimpse into what might have prompted Spicer to quit after Donald Trump installed Scaramucci as communications director.

“Mooch,” as he is known, seems to have had trouble keeping his own stories straight.

He is known to support gay marriage and strong gun-control laws, two issues that are anathema to Donald Trump’s political “base.” He once raised money for Democratic presidential candidate Barack H. Obama. Mooch backed Scott Walker and then Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primary and then threw in with Trump’s transition after the president was elected.

He’s also said some highly critical things about Trump.

I must ask: This is the individual who is going to put the White House “on message” and seek to avoid the missteps, mistakes and misstatements that have poured out of Trump administration?

Chaos, meet confusion.

Aw, c’mon Sean, those ‘SNL’ skits are funny, man

OK, I’ll stipulate that I’ve never been parodied by a major TV network comedy show, which means I don’t truly understand how former White House press secretary Sean Spicer feels these days.

There. Having made that stipulation, I guess I can say that Spicer needs to lighten up. Melissa McCarthy’s parody of him on “Saturday Night Live” became an instant comedy classic. She had the nation rolling with laughter.

Oh, but Spicer didn’t see it that way. He calls the skits “stupid” and “malicious.”

Well, he’s entitled to his opinion, just as Donald J. Trump is entitled to say that Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of the president is, um, “sad,” “not funny” and “pathetic.”

I’ll just beg to differ with the president, too.

Look, this kind of thing goes with the territory. Did these guys ever see Phil Hartman’s spoof of Bill Clinton wolfing down the Big Mac while jogging? Did they ever catch Dana Carvey’s hilarious mimicking of George H.W. Bush or Jon Lovitz’s equally funny spoof of Michael Dukakis? How about Will Ferrell’s uproarious skits about George W. Bush?

And how can you forget the time the actual Sarah Palin appeared on “SNL” alongside the Tina Fey faux Palin, or the time Hillary Clinton joked with Amy Poehler’s “Hillary”?

This is political humor, Sean. I’m just sad now — in the wake of your resignation as White House press flack — that you’ve taken Melissa McCarthy out of the game.

Spicer quits, chaos continues

The longest-running open secret came to fruition today with the resignation of Sean Spicer as White House press secretary.

Spicer was thought to be on his way out long ago. He sealed the deal today when Donald J. Trump announced that Anthony Scaramucci would become the new White House communications director.

That meant curtains for Spicer, who reportedly disagreed vehemently with the choice.

To be candid, I am left with decidedly mixed feelings about Spicer’s departure. At one level, I had some sympathy for a press flack who was charged with defending presidential policies in front of the White House press corps. The president, though, made that job even more difficult — indeed, damn near impossible — by contradicting his own messages hourly. Spicer then was left to fend for himself as he sought to explain what the president meant to say or do.

At another level, I was dismayed that Spicer — the former press spokesman for the Republican National Committee — continued in the role for as long as he did.

Consider, too, the strange — to my ears, at least — statement by Scaramucci about Spicer’s departure. “I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money,” he said. Huh? What about saluting his service to the country? Or to the president?

Then, of course, this came from the president himself, who said in a statement that Spicer will succeed, adding, “Just look at this ratings.” What the … ?

I suppose we’ll all just wait for Spicer to tell us what really went on behind the scenes in a White House known above and beyond anything else for its confusion and chaos.

Do you expect the new press flack, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the new communications boss, to assuage media concerns about the White House’s ability to administer anything?

Neither do I.

(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.”