White House press secretary Sean Spicer took avoiding the media to a whole new level yesterday following the announcement of James Comey’s firing. Some people might don disguises, others might run quickly from the press with a raincoat over their head.
Not Sean Spicer.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrapped up his brief interview with Fox Business from the White House grounds late Tuesday night and then disappeared into the shadows, huddling with his staff behind a tall hedge. To get back to his office, Spicer would have to pass a swarm of reporters wanting to know why President Trump suddenly decided to fire the FBI director.
This was apparently the culmination of a good three hours of the White House communications shop bungling the announcement. Spicer had originally wanted to send the news via email, but the transmission took too long. So, of course, the next best thing was for him to shout the details of the firing from the press room door to any media who happened to be in earshot. After which, he locked himself in his office, hoping there would be no follow up questions.
Turns out, there were just a few questions being asked about the firing, and Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders were then seen “speed-walking up the White House drive to defend the president on CNN, Fox News and Fox Business.” After which, the trio and other White House staff convened behind the bushes.
After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?”
Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him.
The optics here … are not good.
(Alternate headline for Lord of the Rings geeks: “A Little Late for Trimming the Verge, Don’t You Think?”)