White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has recently emerged as a source of embarrassment for the administration by a eliciting a lot of unnecessary drama.
In the capacity of his position Spicer is expected to deliver real-time messages from the president and his staff as well as overlook Washington's interactions with the press. But instead of helping smooth diplomatic tiffs with the media and communicating White House strategies, Spicer has drawn fire for failing to carefully watch his words.
US President Donald Trump was directly asked about Spicer's unfortunate comments in a recent interview with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro, to be aired on Saturday night. Trump was asked twice whether he was certain that he was going to let Spicer maintain his position, especially after the president proved that he was not hesitant to dismiss senior US officials when he abruptly sacked former FBI head James Comey earlier this week.
On both occasions Trump dodged the question.
Initially, Pirro asked the president: "Is he your press secretary today and tomorrow?," to which Trump replied: "Yeah, he is, sure."
Pirro then inquired as to whether Spicer would keep the position in the long term. "Will he be tomorrow?," she stressed. It was then that Trump said: "Well, he's doing a good job, but he gets beat up."
Fox's Pirro repeated her question a third time. "Will he be there tomorrow?," she inquired. "Well, he's been there from the beginning," Trump answered ambiguously.
Israel's Holocaust museum invites Spicer to visit its website for WWII info (credit: REUTERS)
Pirro then pushed further, asking: "Is he in the, in the- what do they say- is he in the woods?," to which the president replied: "He's getting beat up. No, he just gets beat up by these people, and again you know they don't show the 90 questions that they asked and answered properly. I'm saying if they're off just a little bit, just a little bit, it's the big story," Trump said in defense of his press secretary.
However, it seems that Spicer has been off, and not just by a little bit, on more than one occasion.
Here are five times the White House's mouthpiece did a little too much talking:
1) The time Spicer had his own take on the Holocaust-
The White House press secretary was speaking to reporters in April a week after Syrian President Bashar Assad assaulted his own people in a chemical attack on the Idlib province that killed 87 civilians and injured hundreds, when he claimed that Assad's behavior was worse than that of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Spicer said that Assad's hideous tactics were not utilized by Hitler, "who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."
It seems that Spicer chose to overlook the fact that millions of Jews were murdered during World War II at the hands of the Nazis, who used the deadly Zyklon B gas in the gas chambers they installed at extermination camps with the purpose of erasing all Jews off the face of the earth.
Spicer's public and profuse apology didn't really help ease off the backlash, and even Israel's Holocaust Museum- Yad Vashem- issued their own snide remark
, inviting Spicer to check out their website to learn some crucial facts about the war.
2) The time Spicer miscalculated the amount of attendees at Trump's inauguration ceremony-
Speaking to the media after Trump's inauguration ceremony in January, Spicer claimed that the ceremony had the biggest audience in history. His exact words were:"[Trump drew] the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe."
The only problem was that evidence from crowd experts, TV ratings, photos and the Washington Metro network showed quite different numbers.
When he was faced with the data pointing to the contrary, Spicer's reaction didn't seem to make a lot of sense either. "Sometimes we can disagree with the facts," he said.
That sentence snowballed across the web and inspired the comic hashtag #SpicerFacts.
3) The time Spicer told a senior White House correspondent "stop shaking your head"-
During a press briefing in late March Spicer was asked by April Ryan, an American Urban Radio Networks correspondent, how Trump's administration intended to repair its image.
The press secretary was clearly not pleased with the question, and snapped at the reporter, telling her: "Stop shaking your head."
He then accused Ryan of having an agenda she wanted to push. "April, hold on, it seems like you're hell-bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays," he said and followed with: "I'm sorry, please stop shaking your head again."
His verbal assault on Ryan was received with alarm by many. Speaking in defense of Ryan, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed what she termed the unfair belittling of a journalist and a "grown woman."
Holding a speech at a conference for the Professional Business Women of California, Clinton said: "April Ryan, a respected journalist with unrivaled integrity, was doing her job... in the White House press room, and she was patronized and cut off trying to ask a question."
4) The time Spicer was not willing to accept the reality of the travel ban-
Trump's travel ban, which was initially issued in January, restricted people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
Reporters could not help from rolling their eyes when Spicer said that the executive order was not a "travel ban," even though the president had used the word "ban" when referring to it on multiple occasions. When he was called out on that, the press secretary said: "He's using the words that the media is using." Another case of #SpicerFacts?5) The time Spicer misunderstood Twitter. And English-
In February, spoof news site The Onion posted a tweet on their official handle that read: "@SeanSpicer's role in the Trump administration will be to provide the American public with robust and clearly articulated misinformation."
Spicer seemed to have not read the tweet carefully, or heard of the grossly popular website, because he retweeted their tweet and wrote, to the amusement of many Twitter users: "You nailed it. Period!"