Sean Spicer Schools Reporter With Hilarious Response

During Friday’s White House press briefing, Bloomberg correspondent Justin Sink pressed Sean Spicer on whether the administration was “too excited” by a positive February jobs report released that morning: “Obviously you guys were excited by the jobs report, but maybe a little too excited. Both you and the President tweeting within an hour of the jobs data coming out, which is a violation of the federal rules....what do you say generally to critics who say the risk of doing this is politicizing what should be kind of non-partisan, by-the-books job data?”

Spicer pointed out the absurdity of the question and even referenced his Saturday Night Live alter-ego portrayed by Melissa McCarthy: “I think tweeting out, ‘Great way to start a Friday, here are the actual numbers that you all have reported’ is a bit – I mean, don't make me make the podium move.” The entire press corps, including Sink, erupted in laughter.

The press secretary continued: “I mean, honest to God, like every reporter here reported out that we had 235,000 jobs, 4.7. There isn't a TV station that didn't go live to it, so to tweet out, ‘Great way to start a Friday,’ I think, yes, the President was excited to see more Americans back to work.”

Sink pushed back: “The Obama White House, for instance, you know, went out of their way not to comment in that hour-long period, they would rearrange the President's schedule around it.” Spicer replied:

I get it. And I think there’s a difference – it's not about commenting. I think it's one thing to give analysis and whatever. Literally tweeting out, “great news,” I think, yes, we're excited that when the President and the rest of the team saw the news this morning, as reported on every television station, Twitter, the internet, and every major news site in the country and around the world, we're excited to see so many Americans back to work. So I apologize if we were a little excited and we were so glad to see so many fellow Americans back to work.

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Minutes later, American Urban Radio correspondent April Ryan followed up on the topic by hinting that former President Obama should really get the credit for the strong employment numbers: “Sean, I want to go back to numbers. When is it when a president’s – a former president’s spillover ends and the new president stands on his own merit? When does that happen?...Numbers from jobs.”

Spicer countered: “Well, I think that this the first full month that encapsulates the President's administration....I think for the first full month, we're seeing the enthusiasm and spirit that so many business leaders have been drawn to....I think this encapsulates a full 30 days of the Trump presidency.”

Here are excerpts from the March 10 briefing:

2:17 PM ET

(...)

JUSTIN SINK [BLOOMBERG]: Obviously you guys were excited by the jobs report, but maybe a little too excited. Both you and the President tweeting within an hour of the jobs data coming out, which is a violation of the federal rules. So I'm wondering, I guess, both if there's counseling in you and the President's future, but also, what do you say generally to critics who say the risk of doing this is politicizing what should be kind of non-partisan, by-the-books job data?  

SEAN SPICER: No, what I understand is that rule was instituted to deal with mark fluctuations, I could be wrong, but I believe that’s why it was instituted. I think tweeting out, “Great way to start a Friday, here are the actual numbers that you all have reported” is a bit – I mean, don't make me make the podium move.

[LAUGHTER]

I mean, honest to God, like every reporter here reported out that we had 235,000 jobs, 4.7. There isn't a TV station that didn't go live to it, so to tweet out, “Great way to start a Friday,” I think, yes, the President was excited to see more Americans back to work. I don’t think that’s exactly a market disruption. I think that there's a lot of excitement in this country when we look at the policies that the President has instituted to help put more Americans back to work. So I mean, I understand the rule, but let's –

SINK: Sure. The Obama White House, for instance, you know, went out of their way not to comment in that hour-long period, they would rearrange the President's schedule around it. I mean, it was something that they and previous – going forward –

SPICER: I get it. And I think there’s a difference – it's not about commenting. I think it's one thing to give analysis and whatever. Literally tweeting out, “great news,” I think, yes, we're excited that when the President and the rest of the team saw the news this morning, as reported on every television station, Twitter, the internet, and every major news site in the country and around the world, we're excited to see so many Americans back to work. So I apologize if we were a little excited and we were so glad to see so many fellow Americans back to work.

(....)

2:30 PM ET

APRIL RYAN [AMERICAN URBAN RADIO]: Sean, I want to go back to numbers. When is it when a president’s – a former president’s spillover ends and the new president stands on his own merit? When does that happen?

SPICER: Well, I think on January 20th at noon, you start to assume command of the government, and you know – what specifically are asking for?

RYAN: Numbers from jobs.

SPICER: Well, I think that this the first full month that encapsulates the President's administration, I think that's a very telling number. Look, and I get it, these numbers are going to go up and down, but I think for the first full month, we're seeing the enthusiasm and spirit that so many business leaders have been drawn to and it's exciting as a first month. But I think this encapsulates a full 30 days of the Trump presidency. And so, you know, we're going to continue to work forward with policies that will lower regulation and lower taxes, create a more business-friendly and entrepreneurial-friendly business climate to allow the expansion of U.S. companies and grow U.S. jobs.

(...)


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