During his first TV interview since his appearance at the Emmys, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday on Good Morning America that he hasn’t “knowingly” lied to the American people.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2017
Spicer’s claim is belied by the joke he was a part of at the Emmys. During his surprise appearance, he poking fun at the Emmy’s audience, calling it the “largest audience to witness an Emmys. Period.”
The “joke” is a callback to the first lie Spicer told as White House press secretary, when he told reporters that Donald Trump’s inauguration was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period. Both in person and around the globe.” His first briefing set the tone for his combative relationship with the press corps when he attacked them for misreporting the size of the event, despite overwhelming photographic evidence that proved the attendance was indeed relatively small. Spicer blamed “floor coverings [that] were used to protect the grass on the mall” for making it look like there was lots of empty space.
But on Good Morning America, Spicer indicated he will make no apologies for what he saw as just simply doing his job, and only regrets how he delivered the statement.
“I think it might have been better to be a lot more specific with what we were talking about in terms of the universe, not focus so much on photographic evidence, et cetera,” Spicer said. “So yes, from that standpoint I probably could have had more facts at hand and been more articulate in describing, you know, the entirety of what that day was about.”
One false statement Spicer will own up to, however, is when he told reporters Trump’s travel ban policy was unequivocally not a travel ban — despite the president’s tweets indicating otherwise. “I definitely wish we had been more consistent in the terms we used and the goals we were trying to achieve,” said Spicer. “I’ll take a mulligan on that one.”
There are a whole host of other lies Spicer told during his tenure as White House press secretary that he likely will never own up to. Just before he left his post in late July, Spicer told reporters that the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer wasn’t about anything other than Russian adoptions, despite the emails Trump Jr. himself released indicating otherwise. Then there was the time he defended misinformation from the White House about an “armada” that was allegedly towards the Korean peninsula (there was no armada).
Spicer also said that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was fake news, but was discredited by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson less than 24 hours later. Johnson told members of the House Intelligence Committee that there is no doubt about Russian interference.