‘You have corrupted discourse for the entire world!’ BBC reporter grills Sean Spicer for helping Trump spread ‘lies’ in chaotic six months as White House press secretary
- Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer walked into a BBC buzzsaw
- TV host blamed himfor coarsening the entire world’s political discourse by helping President Trump spread lies in his press briefings
- ‘You played with the truth! You led us down a dangerous path!’ Emily Maitlis said
- Spicer is promoting a political memoir that has been received lukewarmly
- ABC News’ chief White House correspondent wrote that like Spicer’s tenure, his book is ‘short’ and ‘littered with inaccuracies’
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer found a buzzsaw waiting for him Tuesday on television, fending off an accusation that he singlehandedly ruined global political discourse by defending a pathologically dishonest president.
BBC host Emily Maitlis pointed to the moment widely regarded as Spicer’s original sin – castigating journalists on Trump’s first full day in office for reporting that he drew a smaller in-person inauguration audience than Barack Obama had eight years earlier.
The former Republican Party flack sacrificed much of his credibility by insisting Trump attracted ‘the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe.’ Pictures from the National Mall showed otherwise. Spicer took no questions that day.
‘You joked about it when you presented the Emmy awards,’ Maitlis said Tuesday, recalling his self-deprecating star turn last September. ‘But it wasn’t a joke.’
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer faced his toughest book-tour interview by far on Tuesday – at the hands of a foreign TV host
‘BBC Newsnight’ host Emily Maitlis blasted Spicer for coarsening the entire world’s relationship with the truth by helping President Trumplie lie for months
Maitlis berated Spicer for turning his Day One media confrontation into a joke by lampooning himself at the 2017 Emmy Awards
‘It was the start of the most corrosive culture. You played with the truth. You led us down a dangerous path. You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies!’
Maitlis spent 15 minutes via satellite on ‘BBC Newsnight’ with Spicer, who is promoting a lukewarmly received book ‘The Briefing’ about his six months as Donald Trump’s principal spokesman.
In a stinging Wall Street Journal book review, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl wrote that Spicer’s memoir reads ‘much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong.’
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Original Sin: Spicer barked at reporters the day after the president took office for reporting that Trump’s Inauguration Day crowd (left) was smaller than Barack Obama’s in 2009 (right)
Spicer’s book, ‘The Briefing,’ isn’t a runaway success; the chief White House correspondent at ABC News reviewed it in print, calling it ‘littered with inaccuracies’
On Tuesday, Spicer offered no criticism of his former boss but owned up to falling short the day after Trump took office.
‘We all make mistakes,’ Spicer offered, repeating his frequent defense that he wished for ‘a do-over on that.’
‘There were days that were extremely lonely in that job because I screwed up,’ he said, while also claiming American political reporters promoted ‘many false narratives and false stories’ about the president.
Spicer’s time as Trump’s press secretary was marked by an aggressive tone anda dismissive attitude toward the press corps that Donald Trump loves to hate
He quickly became a national punchline when actress Melissa McCarthy porttrayed him on ‘Satiurday Night Live’
Maitlis delivered her dressing-down in vivid hues, painting Trump as a dangerous liar and Spicer as his henchman.
‘It’s just not good enough,’ she said of his defense. ‘Donald Trump, as you well know, made stuff up long before he was a candidate.’
‘This is the office of the president spouting lies or half truths, or knocking down real truths, and you were his agent for those months.’
She also name-checked presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, whose famous hair-splitting on the inauguration crowd led her to describe the White House’s version of events as an example of ‘alternative facts.’Conway ‘was introducing a second version of the truth,’ Maitlis boomed.
‘How dangerous was that?’
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