Sean Spicer finally met with the press after almost a month in hiding and made a fool of himself in the process.
The White House press secretary has been almost as AWOL as the president he supposedly speaks for — when he bothers to speak at all these days.
Sean Spicer has not held a press briefing in nearly a month. And he hasn't held one on camera for even longer than that. So when he finally spoke with the White House press pool on Monday — albeit not on camera — his attempt to spin the Trump campaign's clandestine Russian meeting to get dirt on Hillary Clinton went very poorly. Even for Spicer.
As ABC's Jon Karl said after the briefing, it was "incredibly strange" and led Karl to wonder whether Spicer had even bothered to read a newspaper in the last week.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 17, 2017
KARL: It was really strange. I had to listen to it a couple of times after the briefing was over to make sure I had heard him right. I mean, you get the sense that he didn’t read a newspaper over the past week or so. I mean, he said, "There was nothing, as far as we know, that would lead anyone to believe that it was anything except for a discussion about adoption." And then, as he mispronounced the Magnitsky Act. That’s so incredibly strange, because we have Don Jr.‘s emails, which came out last Tuesday, which said that this meeting was set up with a promise of information about Hillary Clinton, about negative information on Hillary Clinton tied to the Russian government. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Rick, but it was four pages of emails about this meeting, and I didn’t see anything that referenced either the Magnitsky Act or adoption. I didn’t see the word "adoption" in any of those four pages of emails. So, I don’t know. That was really strange.
Since Donald Trump Jr.'s initial excuse a week ago that the meeting was about adoption policy, those of us who definitely have read the newspaper have learned much more than Trump's own spokesman — if we are to believe his spin, and there is no reason that we should.
As the emails Trump Jr. released on Twitter made perfectly clear, the meeting was for the explicit purpose of obtaining damaging information from the "crown prosecutor of Russia," who had "obviously very high level and sensitive information" that "is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."
The meeting — which also included, at the very least, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, a former Soviet spy, a Russian interpreter, and an eighth mystery person — has been the central topic of conversation for the past week. The Trump team's evolving spin and obvious lies have left even Fox News hosts practically speechless.
No one believes the meeting was ever about adoption.
Perhaps Spicer ought to spend a little more time talking with reporters instead of hiding from them. And at a minimum, he should definitely read a newspaper.