Did You Resign Because You Felt Working for Trump ‘Was Starting to Corrode Your Soul?’
Sean Spicer was ripped apart by a respected BBC News journalist Tuesday night. Spicer is promoting his new book about his time as Trump White House press secretary by giving interviews and perhaps did not expect the foreign press to hold him to account in ways the U.S. press never did.
BBC News anchor Emily Maitlis told Spicer he has “corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with” Donald Trump’s “lies.”
Maitlis made clear Spicer had doomed his tenure from the start, when he told reporters that Trump’s inauguration had the largest audience of any U.S. president ever, a clear lie that damaged his reputation from day one.
“It became a joke,” she told him. “It became something that defined you.”
“You joked about it when you presented the Emmy awards,” Maitlis continued, funding into Spicer. “But it wasn’t a joke. 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.”
Spicer, clearly not used to being confronted so clearly with the truth, appeared unnerved, and resorted to Trump’s playbook: attack the press.
“You act as though everything began and ended with that,” Spicer said defensively of his lies about Trump’s crowd size. “You’re taking no accountability for the many false narratives and false stories that the media had perpetrated.”
“He shouts ‘Fake News!’ when he doesn’t like something,” Maitlis responded.
Spicer dd not explain why a BBC News journalist should take responsibility for any false narratives or false stories, nor did he say what those might be.
Here’s a short clip of that part of the interview:
Sean Spicer absolutely eviscerated in BBC Interview:
“You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies” pic.twitter.com/cjqZl2Qd1N
— Chris Strider (@stridinstrider) July 24, 2018
Maitlis also confronted Spicer about the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, and even noted that “the Republican candidate for president was talking about grabbing women by the pussy,” speaking the word that Trump used, which seemed to surprise Spicer.
“Did that tell you anything about your man that you didn’t previously know?” she asked.
“Well, I think we’ve all said things in private, which that was, that are inappropriate –” Spicer responded, not answering her question.
“Have you said things like that?” Maitlis interjected.
Spicer did not answer the question.
At one point Spicer resorted to insisting that his job was to promote the policies and beliefs of President Donald Trump, and suggested that it was his job to lie. Previous White House press secretaries have stated it is not, in fact, their job to lie.
At the end of the interview Maitlis discusses Spicer’s resignation, and asks if he did so “because you felt it was starting to corrode your soul, or you didn’t think it was going well, or you didn’t think you were doing it very well, would you work for him again?”
Watch Spicer’s full BBC News interview:
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Marco Rubio: ‘Not a Crime’ to Break Federal Law by Taking Top Secret National Security Documents From the White House
In a rare Fox News moment, host Bret Baier reported that many are concerned about the lack of Republican “alarm” over Donald Trump absconding with at least 15 cartons of documents and other items, some of which were classified, or even “top secret” classified, and storing them in his suite at Mar-a-Lago, compared to the massive coverage the media gave the Hillary Clinton email story.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is the Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee, and also serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, responded by saying “it’s not a crime” to break federal law – the Presidential Records Act of 1978, in this case, by removing the documents or flushing them down the toilet.
It seems odd that the Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee would be unaware of federal laws about retention of presidential documents, especially handling of classified and top-secret national security documents.
The Florida Republican also suggested Trump had turned over all the missing documents, which is false.
Rubio began by claiming he doesn’t know what’s true because “they” have made up so many stories about Trump “over the years.”
He goes on to suggest, apparently erroneously, that Hillary Clinton’s treatment of classified documents was pleaded in a federal court case.
Rubio: The documents that were at Mar-a-Lago by all accounts were turned over. Look if the process wasn’t followed then there needs to be something that happens about that. It’s not a crime I don’t believe pic.twitter.com/gFMxqSBxHE
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 14, 2022
‘That’s a Lie!’ MSNBC’s Hayes Destroys Kayleigh McEnany for Blatantly False Claim About Trump’s COVID Tests
MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Thursday night played a clip of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany discussing former President Donald Trump’s timeline of COVID-19 test results after he was diagnosed with the virus last year.
Hayes played the clip during a report on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’s claim that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 26, prior to his first debate with President Joe Biden.
“All of the evidence points to Trump having COVID, knowing he had COVID, and spending a week spreading it around while covering it up and refusing to admit he’s sick,” Hayes concluded.
He went on to recall that after Trump finally announced he had COVID on Oct. 2, White House officials were “so sketchy” about when he had last tested negative — and then he played the clip of McEnany “trying to evade this simple question” on Oct. 4.
McEnany was responding to a reporter’s question about whether Trump had been tested prior to the debate on Sept. 29, or before a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Oct. 1.
“I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps of every time the president is tested,” McEnany said. “He’s tested regularly, and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster.”
“Again, I’m not giving a detailed readout of his testing, but it’s safe to say his first positive test was upon return, or at least after, Bedminster, that trip,” McEnany added.
“That’s a lie. We now know, that’s a lie. That clip there is a lie,” Hayes said, recalling that at the time, “the squirrelliness around this was hard to ignore.”
PBS News White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor agreed, saying, “When I watched Kayleigh lie there, it just reminded me of all the different times she lied, so many times, from the podium, from the White House lawn, from the stakeout location where she is in that clip.”
“It really just underscores that this was an administration that was never really playing it straight with the American people,” Alcindor said.
Trump Issues Stunningly False Statement Criticizing Biden for ‘Attack’ on US Oil Reserves
Donald Trump, the disgraced, former president who is reportedly planning a third campaign, on Tuesday released an exceptionally false statement criticizing President Joe Biden for taking action to combat increasing gas and home heating oil prices.
President Biden Tuesday morning announced he has authorized 50 million barrels of oil to be sold from the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves, a move that should help lower oil and gas prices that have risen because of OPEC+ policies. Biden is making the move in conjunction with similar moves by five other countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K.
“We expect the industry to be passing through these savings to consumers as quickly as possible,” a White House official said, as The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The president stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic,” the White House added.
Trump, in a statement released to the press, outright lied about Biden’s move, and about his own performance and that of other U.S. Presidents.
“For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else,” Trump falsely claimed.
As The New York Times’ Peter Baker notes, the Strategic Oil Reserves (technically the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,) were far from empty when Trump took office, but they were far less full when he left:
Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the day Trump took office: 695 million barrels
Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the day Trump left office: 638 million barrelshttps://t.co/P4esCfDbNB
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) November 23, 2021
That’s not the only lie Trump told.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is authorized to hold up to 714 million barrels (in 2009 it was 727 million barrels), so they were nearly full when Trump took office. He also exposed his ignorance about how the federal government “buys” the oil. The oil is effectively traded to the government as payment (royalties) for drilling leases so presidents not wanting to “pay the price of filling them up” is false as well.
Here’s a graph from the U.S. government showing how many barrels of oil are in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves, starting in 1980. At no time were they “low or virtually empty,” not ever. The chart is highlighted to indicate the day Trump was sworn in to office:
The Reserves have been tapped about 20 times since they were first created in 1975, including to reduce the deficit in 1996 and 1997, in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and as loans to oil companies.
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