White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is not having a good week. Or a good month. President* Trump never much cared for him from the beginning (Spicer has been on the hot seat since his first press conference defending Trump’s crowd size at the inauguration), and the situation has only gotten worse for Spicer inside the White House. The Melissa McCarthy caricature on SNL infuriated Trump, and in a Fox News interviews this morning, Trump hung Spicer out to dry by criticizing him for ushering the White House staff into a room and taking all of their phones so they could be investigated for leaks (Goddamn, that’s some Gestapo sh*t), an investigation that leaked to the press right after it happened.
I would have done it differently,” Trump said. “I would have gone one-on-one with different people, and we don’t have a major leak process here. We have a major leak process in government. But I would have handled it differently than Sean. But Sean handles it his way, and I’m okay with it.
Right now, I have seven tabs open for separate Sean Spicer stories, each more troubling than the last. For instance, we now know that last week, Sean Spicer went to the CIA and Republican members of Congress to ask them directly to push back on the Russian ties story, because obviously, his pushback was going nowhere, having lost the trust of the press (further lost by the fact that he disinvited several major news organizations from a White House briefing last week, which is some real Gestapo sh*t). Recruiting Congress and the CIA to battle the White House battles is, of course, unethical as hell, and it’s calling into question any notion that a Congressional investigation might be “bipartisan.”
It doesn’t help his case, either, when Spicer — asked about the investigation — says, “I think that both the House and Senate have looked at it, you know as well as I do that the intelligence community has looked at it as well.” That’s not true at all — the intelligence community has discovered several continuous ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election, and Congress hasn’t even gotten started on their investigation (now tainted by Spicer’s involvement with Republicans).
I’m sure Spicer didn’t help his case earlier this week, either, when he had to withdraw from a fundraiser for Ohio Republican Frank LaRose, where Spicer was set to be the headliner. Why did he have to withdraw? Because LaRose spoke ill of Trump during the campaign, and Trump doesn’t allow his surrogates to involve themselves with people who do not toe the Trump line (that’s some real Gestapo sh*t).
It also appears that Spicer — like Kellyanne Conway — is often out of the loop. For instance, Sean Spicer said that the White House was “100 percent committed” to Philip Bilden as their nominee for Navy Secretary, right before Philip Bilden withdrew his nomination. Ooops.
But here’s the thing: Sean Spicer — who was apparently well liked by the press before he became press secretary — continues to do all of this on behalf of his boss. He clearly wants to impress Trump, demonstrate his loyalty, and win favor with the President*, who nevertheless continues to criticize Spicer in public and behind closed doors.
Here’s where it gets really f*cked up. On Sunday, Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt published the report about Sean Spicer’s phone check of the White House staff. Spicer, however, got his revenge against Isenstadt for reporting the story by feeding a negative story to The Washington Times about Isenstadt that wasn’t entirely true. Apparently, during a phone call last week with Spicer, Isenstadt asked Spicer about a tip he’d gotten that one of Spicer’s aides, Jessica Ditto, started crying after Spicer criticized her work.
Spicer denied the story, saying that Ditto had never cried over criticism, and that the only time she’d ever expressed any emotion was over the death of Navy SEAL Chief Ryan Owens. Isenstadt chuckled at Spicer’s overly vehement denial, but Spicer was like, “What? Are you laughing at the death of a Navy SEAL?” Of course, Isenstadt wasn’t laughing at the death, but at Spicer’s dramatic denial, but Spicer nevertheless told Isenstadt that he would give the story that Isenstadt laughed at the death to another outlet.
After the Politico report ran, that’s exactly what Sean Spicer did. Hours later, The Washington Times ran a piece, Claim: Reporter laughs at Trump aide’s emotion over SEAL death . In other words, Sean Spicer ran a smear campaign on a reporter using mischaracterized facts for reporting negatively about the White House, and what’s almost as bad is the fact that the Times’ reporter, Paul Bedard, ran it.
Paul Bedard and The Washington Times are basically in cahoots with the White House’s mission to ruin the press. That’s some real Gestapo sh*t.