Sean Spicer managed to sound even more unhinged during his Tuesday press briefing in his response to a reporter’s question about Russia.
When April Ryan, White House correspondent for Baltimore-based American Urban Radio Networks, asked Spicer what the administration was doing to improve its perception by the American public in light of the ongoing investigation over the Trump campaign’s communications with Russian government officials, Spicer blew up.
“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, that’s somehow a ‘Russian connection,'” Spicer said defensively. “I’m sorry if that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head… at some point, the facts are what they are.”
However, Ryan continued to press Spicer for an answer to her original question, speaking over Spicer’s deflections. The question was valid, given that news broke this week that Trump’s approval rating has dipped to historic lows, making him even less popular than former George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to Gallup.
“We’re gonna keep doing everything we’re doing,” Spicer said in response to Ryan repeating her question, reiterating the administration’s commitments to fulfilling campaign pledges.
Ryan then gave up on asking that question and asked another, about Trump’s meeting with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Ryan asked Spicer whether or not Trump’s opinion of Rice has changed since 2006, when he referred to the former top diplomat as a “bitch.” Rice, in turn, rooted for Trump’s defeat on Election Day last year when asked about her reaction to Trump’s comments.
SEAN SPICER: “April, hold on. It seems like you’re hell-bent on whatever image you want tells about this White House stays, because at the end of the day–”
APRIL RYAN: “The president called her that name. I am just–”
SPICER: “But, you know what, you’re asking me a question, and I’m gonna answer. Which is the president — I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again. But at some point, the reality is the president continues to reach out to individuals…”
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 28, 2017
As NBC’s Bradd Jaffy pointed out, Ryan simply remarked on the exchange with a one-word tweet that read, “Lawd!!!”
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) March 28, 2017
Ryan was the same reporter whom Trump suddenly asked — in the middle of a White House press conference — to arrange a meeting between the Congressional Black Caucus and the Trump administration. The request was seen as particularly offensive, as it came with the assumption that since Ryan was African American, she was somehow connected to the caucus.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.