Sean Spicer Conveniently Forgets Old Colleagues Who Quit After Being Linked to Russia.
This is performance art, right?
It was not a banner day for the Donald Trump administration, as embattled FBI Director James Comey confirmed that, yes, federal investigators are looking into Trump’s perpetually-murky ties to Russia, and no, there is no evidence to support his weirdo Spy Kids fantasy that his predecessor secretly had him “wiretapped.” These revelations contradict everything the White House has said about both subjects and raise serious questions about the integrity of our democracy, which means that the President will probably respond with a 5 A.M. tweetstorm that blames it all on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s unsuccessful stint as host of Celebrity Apprentice.
As usual, the person within the administration who suffers the most as a result of this unconscionable dishonesty is White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who was once again trotted out in front of reporters and tasked with convincing them that up is actually down, left is actually right, and that matryoshka dolls are actually just compound Barbies. Of course, Spicer’s steadfast commitment to blustering and bullshitting his way through these things is pretty well unmatched, but the particular bit of gaslighting he attempted to pull off today was audacious even for a man well-versed in the finer points of political self-immolation.
SPICER: I think that when you read a lot of this activity about “associates,” there is a fine line between people who want to be a part of something that they never had an official role in, and people who actually who played a role in the campaign or the transition.
REPORTER A: Does the president stand by his comments that he’s not aware of any contacts that his campaign associates had with Russia during the election?
SPICER, VISIBLY GULPING: Yes.
REPORTER A: And the second [question] is, has anyone from the White House—
SPICER, SMOKE RISING FROM HIS PANTS AREA: Can I just amend the first one? Obviously, just to be clear, I know that, I’m trying to think through this for a second, because obviously, General Flynn—but again, General Flynn—I’m not aware of any at this time, but even General Flynn was a volunteer of the campaign, and then obviously there’s been this discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time. But beyond that—
REPORTER B, INCREDULOUSLY: He was the chairman!
SPICER, IN HIS BEST INDIGNANT SCHOOLMARM VOICE: Jonathan, can you stop interrupting other people’s questions? Hey Jonathan, somebody’s asking a question, it’s not your press briefing, Julie’s asking a question. Please calm down.
Paul Manafort served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager before resigning in disgrace after we learned that he may have accepted millions of dollars in off-the-book payments from Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted former Ukrainian president who is now in exile in Russia. Spicer would have you believe that this position is a “minor role,” and the four months during which Manafort performed that job is “a very limited amount of time.” Meanwhile, Michael Flynn was serving in Donald Trump’s White House as National Security Advisor before he resigned in disgrace after details of his clandestine contacts with Russian officials came to light. (Hmmm, notice a pattern?) According to Spicer, though, that makes him a mere “campaign volunteer.” If “keeping a straight face no matter what” ever becomes an Olympic event, this man is going to sweep the medal stand all by himself.
If you asked, Sean Spicer would probably tell you that Steph Curry is a fine spot starter for the Golden State Warriors, rain occasionally plays a role in getting wet, and Abraham Lincoln’s untimely demise was due, at least in part, to being shot in the back of the head.
Keith Olbermann on the Perpetual Problem of Russia
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