Sean Spicer is not working today — at least not as press secretary — due to his apparently prescheduled Navy Reserve commitments, which means that what could have been one of his most brutal press briefings will fall to his deputy. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has already been out telling scripted lies to satisfy Trump’s demand for drum-banging (on Russia) and defend his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. As a result of all the talking from other parties, we’re also hearing Rudy Giuliani’s name mentioned as a possible replacement, and even the Russian Minister had a sarcastic joke about Comey, but we won’t be hearing from Spicey today!
He tried to make sure of that last night as well. Once Trump’s long-time bodyguard ferried the termination letter to FBI headquarters (after Comey found out from the press), Spicer wanted no part of this mess. He reportedly cowered in some shrubbery while other Trump aides — Kellyanne Conway irritating Anderson Cooper on CNN and Sanders deflecting questions on Fox News — went into distraction mode. In the meantime (and as told by the Washington Post), reporters found Spicer, and this absurdity happened:
After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these [cable news] 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.
Spicer then granted the press ten minutes of his time, which was described as a series of mood swings between “light-hearted asides and clear frustration” and sounds like a typical Spicey press briefing, only surrounded by greenery. And it’s a shame that no one was permitted to capture this marvelous setting on camera, but Twitter has already imagined exactly how it went. Tasneem Nashrulla from Buzzfeed News was one of the first to tweet this joke.
(Via Washington Post)