Don’t expect to hear a “blanket apology” for his work in the Donald Trump administration, Sean Spicer told Paula Faris on ABC’s Good Morning America. “I made mistakes,” the former press secretary admits, adding “I think we all do,” but the level of personal attacks on his character surprises him. He tells Faris that he’s never knowingly lied to the American public, but his job was to “give voice to what [Trump’s] thinking is when he can’t do it himself.”
Spicer also tells Faris that his former boss enjoyed his most recent public appearance at the Emmys, but that he’s not “on a tour” to rehabilitate his image in order to gain a job in mainstream media. “I’m out having some fun,” he insists:
Spicer added that he “tried to own” some of his mistakes, but said that “the personal attacks, questioning my integrity … you know, what my intentions were, I think, were really over the top.”
When asked if he had ever lied to the American people, Spicer responded, “I don’t think so.”
“I have not knowingly done anything to … do that, no,” he added when pressed harder.
That may be a term of art in this case, but Spicer has always been an assertive spokesman for his clients, both at the RNC and in the Trump administration. At times it got personal in both directions, but not so much so that it justifies the shunning Spicer has gotten since his departure. At least to some extent, people are using Spicer as a proxy for Trump, punishing him for even agreeing to work in the Trump White House.
On the other hand, Spicer might bring some of this on himself. Mike Allen at Axios reports that Spicer has threatened legal action against him for asking Spicer for comment:
When we texted Spicer for comment on his note-taking practices, he replied: “Mike, please stop texting/emailing me unsolicited anymore.”
When I replied with a “?” (I have known Spicer and his wife for more than a dozen years), he answered: “Not sure what that means. From a legal standpoint I want to be clear: Do not email or text me again. Should you do again I will report to the appropriate authorities.”
Spicer followed it up with a repeat warning by e-mail. If Spicer wants a job as a mainstream media contributor, this doesn’t seem to be a very smart way of demonstrating a willingness to work within their systems. So maybe Spicer isn’t all that interested in a paid analyst job at the networks … but someone should probably tell that to his agent.