During Tuesday night’s edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the anti-Trump eponymous host interviewed former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer about his new book and, at one point, Kimmel asked Spicer what his mom thought about all of the abuse he had to put up with during his short tenure as Press Secretary.
Kimmel ended up asking Spicer “Did she ever say, go in there and tell that son of a b**** Trump to stop making you lie?” According to Spicer, “My mother would never speak like that,” suggesting that she would instead say “I’m praying for you.” Kimmel replied, “I imagine there was a lot of praying going on during that time of your life.”
Towards the beginning of the interview, Kimmel asked Spicer if he “was adjusting to life on the outside.” Spicer answered in the affirmative and when Kimmel asked whether Spicer had a “feeling of great relief and calm” when looking at Twitter, Spicer claimed that he had “moved on,” adding “I take a long time before I get to the tweets.”
At one point, Spicer emphasized that he has been “a loyal person” to all of the people he has worked for over the years, including President Trump. As he held up a copy of Spicer’s book, Kimmel asked “But what about this?” Spicer said that his book was “about me,” saying “that’s my life,” rejecting the suggestion that the book contains any earth-shattering secrets about the Trump administration.
Kimmel then asked Spicer if Trump was “the best boss you ever had?” Spicer did not answer the question directly but stressed that he's “been honored to work for a lot of great people.” The answer delighted Kimmel, who asked Spicer to clarify: “So no, he’s not?” As the audience erupted into laughter, Spicer told Kimmel “That’s not what I said,” instead arguing that “my wife is the best boss that I’ve ever worked for.”
Kimmel later brought up Spicer’s discussion of “loyalty to the President” in his book, asking him: “Which do you think is more important; loyalty or the truth?”
Spicer claimed that the two were not mutually exclusive: “I don’t think it’s a binary choice. I think that you can tell the person that you work for if there’s a problem with what they’re saying and that you give them the best advice and counsel you can. But I don’t think that it’s a binary choice, you have to choose one or the other.”
Unfortunately for the left, Spicer shows no signs of caving to the relentless media pressure by becoming Scott McClellan 2.0.
To see the relevant transcript from ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live in the early hours of August 1, click "expand."
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live
12:07 a.m. Eastern
JIMMY KIMMEL: Hi there, welcome back. Still to come, Dan and Shay. Our next guest spent six excruciating months and one glorious day as White House Press Secretary for President Donald Trump. This is his new book about that. It’s called The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President. Please say hello to Sean Spicer.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
KIMMEL: Wow. Thank you very much. I have one already, but thank you for the second one.
SEAN SPICER: Oh, give me that one back, then.
KIMMEL: No, no I’ll keep this one. Thank you, Sean.
SPICER: That was personal.
KIMMEL: How are you doing? Wow. You’re dressing like a pimp, what’s going on?
SPICER: New line of business.
KIMMEL: Is this Hollywood Sean Spicer we’re looking at right now?
SPICER: I don’t know.
KIMMEL: I like the idea…
SPICER: Apparently the first time I did this, not with you, but went out, I had a little issue with the suit so…
KIMMEL: Yeah. Right, yeah, right.
SPICER: Tried to fix that.
KIMMEL: How are you doing? Everything all right?
SPICER: Great, thank you.
KIMMEL: Are you happy to be out of there, are you adjusting to life on the outside?
SPICER: I am.
KIMMEL: You are, yeah. When you wake up in the morning, it’s like you look at Twitter, you have a, does a feeling of great relief and calm wash over you?
SPICER: It’s…I take a long time before I get to the tweets, yes.
KIMMEL: You do? It does take a little while? And do you ever look at them and do you ever go like, this is how I would handle this?
KIMMEL: No, you just locked it all…
SPICER: Moved on.
KIMMEL: …completely out of your mind.
KIMMEL: You still talk to the President, you said. Yes?
SPICER: I do, yeah.
KIMMEL: How often you speak to him?
SPICER: As often as he likes.
KIMMEL: And he calls you?
SPICER: He does.
KIMMEL: Do you ever call him?
SPICER: I have not, I do not call him.
KIMMEL: You do not call him.
SPICER: I wait to be called.
KIMMEL: When he calls you is it like, oh, no, what this is going to be about?
SPICER: The first time I was like what did I do wrong?
SPICER: It was right after your show. The first…
KIMMEL: Was it really?
SPICER: Yeah. And I was like, oh, God.
KIMMEL: Was it really?
SPICER: Swear to God, yeah.
KIMMEL: Was he mad or no?
SPICER: No, he said, great job on Jimmy Kimmel.
KIMMEL: Oh, he did?
SPICER: I went, whew.
SPICER: You know I don’t work there.
KIMMEL: I know, but it’s funny that you still, you still have…I think I have this with people that I worked for in the past, where you still feel like they’re your boss even if they’re not necessarily your boss.
SPICER: Yeah. And I think that part of what I pride myself on to some degree is that all of the people that I’ve worked for, the one quality that I think all of them would agree on is that I’ve been a loyal person to them. I don’t believe that you can have a job like that, share with them your private counsel, then go out and talk about it. So I think most of the…you know, the people that I’ve worked for in various capacities have always said, hey, look, this is a guy that…
KIMMEL: But what about this?
SPICER: That’s about me. That’s my life. That’s not…
KIMMEL: Oh, okay. Yeah, no, I do feel like you could have got into a lot of stuff that you didn’t get into. And this is not a tell-all, it’s a tell-some book, right?
SPICER: Tell-me book.
KIMMEL: Yeah. And you keep the tell-all stuff for maybe another book somewhere down the line?
KIMMEL: Or just to make sure the President doesn’t have you rubbed out?
SPICER: No. I’m pretty confident that I’m okay.
KIMMEL: Is the President the best boss you ever had?
SPICER: I’ve been honored to work for a lot of great people.
KIMMEL: So no, he’s not?
SPICER: That’s not what I said.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SPICER: My wife…I will say this, my wife is the best boss that I’ve ever worked for. How’s that? I’m on pretty safe ground.
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
KIMMEL: Did he ever…I know this is going to seem like a joke. Did he ever make you cry?
KIMMEL: Never did?
KIMMEL: Even when you went home, you just was going like oh my God, what have I gotten into, my world is falling down around me?
SPICER: Not…there’s a lot of emotions.
KIMMEL: But never tears?
SPICER: Never tears.
KIMMEL: Okay, all right. Does he tweet from the toilet?
KIMMEL: Is it possible?
SPICER: Not something I’ve ever asked. I don’t know.
KIMMEL: You don’t know.
KIMMEL: Hmm, yeah. That’s interesting. You talk about loyalty; to the President.
KIMMEL: And your job as Press Secretary. Which do you think is more important; loyalty or the truth?
SPICER: I don’t think it’s a binary choice. I think that you can tell the person that you work for if there’s a problem with what they’re saying and that you give them the best advice and counsel you can. But I don’t think that it’s a binary choice, you have to choose one or the other.
KIMMEL: Right, but I’m asking you…I understand that you don’t have to but…
KIMMEL: You know, in that position…
SPICER: You always…I…the answer is you always have to go out and maintain your credibility in the truth, yes. So that would take precedent over the first.
KIMMEL: Did you always go out and maintain your credibility in the truth?
SPICER: I think there were times when I went out and expressed what the President believed or a view that he had that people didn’t agree with or that they were offering, they were saying that that was not true and would blame me for the fact that I was communicating a view or a belief that he had.
KIMMEL: You felt like it was a kill the messenger type situation?
SPICER: In many cases.
KIMMEL: Yeah. And these are things that might not have been things you personally agreed with?
SPICER: Right. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’ve never had a boss or something that I’ve represented where I’ve said 100 percent I agree with what I’m, what they believe. But that’s not the job you sign up for. You’re not saying, I’m going to agree with you on everything. You’re saying I will do the best job I can in communicating the thoughts and beliefs and ideas that you have.
KIMMEL: Your book starts, the beginning of the book is the end…
SPICER: Don’t give it away.
KIMMEL: …of your time at the White House. No, it’s the beginning of the book.
SPICER: It is.
KIMMEL: So in the beginning of the book you talk about this letter of resignation that you wrote and that you’d written…
SPICER: In May.
KIMMEL: …it in May, and then July in you wound up resigning?
KIMMEL: So we’re almost at…we’re just past the one-year anniversary of your time there. So why did you write it in May?
SPICER: I talk about this in the book; that I had become the story too often. And that’s not a good place for a spokesperson to be. You’re not supposed to be talking or defending yourself. You’re supposed to be communicating on behalf of the person or the institution that you represent. And I knew it wasn’t getting better and I wanted to make sure that I was ready because at some point I knew that the end was coming. And it was coming sooner rather than later.
KIMMEL: And at that time did someone in the administration try to talk you out of leaving?
SPICER: When I offered my resignation to the President he asked me to stay. I thought that there was no way that the situation would turn itself around. He deserved a clean slate. I didn’t think that I would, my presence was ever going to allow that to happen and I thought that it was in the best interests of both of us to move on.
KIMMEL: At that time he hired Anthony Scaramucci to be…would he have been your…would you have reported to him?
SPICER: The way the structure would work then, yes.
KIMMEL: And that was unacceptable?
KIMMEL: Yeah. And in fact, Anthony Scaramucci, you mention in the book, texted you when he got the job and said, give me a call, and you did not give him a call?
KIMMEL: Why didn’t you call him?
SPICER: Because I didn’t want to have that conversation. I knew…I’d already thought about that this was God telling me, here’s your off-ramp, take it. And I didn’t think… I’ve nothing against him personally. I didn’t think that structure was sustainable. And I felt like I knew what I wanted to do. I’d talked to my wife and my mom and said, I’m comfortable and I’m at peace with this decision. And I didn’t want to have a conversation that would be…that would lead to any other outcome but that.
KIMMEL: What did your mom think of all the abuse you got, of all the things you were…
SPICER: What abuse?
KIMMEL: …you know, obviously there were a lot of jokes made at your expense.
SPICER: Many by you.
KIMMEL: Many by me.
KIMMEL: That’s true.
SPICER: Some were funny.
KIMMEL: That’s true. And I’m sure…I mean, it’s one thing to be you.
KIMMEL: It’s another thing to be your mom.
SPICER: You know, my mom…my dad and my wife have been my strongest advocates and supporters. And I think there were clearly times where she felt, you know…felt for me in a way that only a mother can.
KIMMEL: Did she ever say, go in there and tell that son of a bitch Trump to stop making you lie?
SPICER: My mother would never speak like that.
KIMMEL: She would never speak like that?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SPICER: She’d say, “I’m praying for you.”
KIMMEL: She said I’m praying for you?
KIMMEL: Yeah, I imagine there was a lot of praying going on during that time of your life. Well, it’s all here in the book. We’re going to take a break. Sean Spicer is here. That’s his book. It’s called The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President. We’ll be right back with Sean.