Sean Spicer has said he doesn’t think he lied to the American people in his role as White House Press Secretary.
The beleaguered former press secretary left his job in July, but has been haunted by some of his more infamous famous gaffes from behind the podium. His search for a new job at a news network has been complicated, according to reports, by doubts about his credibility.
In his first wide-ranging television interview, however, Mr Spicer was unapologetic about his past missteps.
“There are things that I did during my time there that needed to go out and correct. I did that,” Mr Spicer told ABC’s Paula Farris. “Where there were mistakes that were made that I got something wrong, I think I’ve owned that.”
Asked point blank if he had lied to the public, Mr Spicer replied: “I don’t think so.”
“I have not knowingly done anything to … do that, no,” he added upon further questioning.
Mr Spicer became a target of suspicion his first day on the job, when he told reporters that Donald Trump’s inauguration drew the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period”. The claim was quickly debunked.
In his interview with ABC, Mr Spicer admitted he should have been “more specific” about what he was talking about, “in terms of the universe”.
“There are more social platforms, more online platforms to view things … than existed eight years prior,” he said by way of explanation.
Days before, Mr Spicer had joked about the incident onstage at the Emmys, wheeling out a podium and declaring it “the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period”. The cameo drew criticism from many members of the press, but Mr Spicer said the President thought he did a “great job”.
In his interview, however, Mr Spicer owned up to times when he and the President had contradicted each other. In one instance, the press secretary told reporters that Mr Trump’s travel ban on residents of six Muslim-majority countries was “not a ban”. Mr Trump later referred to the policy as a “ban” on Twitter.
“I would definitely say that I wish we had been more consistent from the beginning in terms of the terms that we would use and the goals that we were trying to achieve,” Mr Spicer admitted in his interview.
On other controversies, however, Mr Spicer stayed mum. Asked about the investigations into possible Trump team collusion with Russia, he replied simply: “I’m not going to discuss that issue at all.”
That same morning, Axios reported that Mr Spicer had…