Spicer stands by Trump inauguration size claims


Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer appears on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Sept. 13. | POLITICO screengrab/Twitter/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Nearly eight months after entering the White House and two weeks after exiting it, Sean Spicer still won’t say President Donald Trump’s inaugural crowd wasn’t the “largest” ever.

In his first public interview since departing the West Wing, the former White House press secretary continued to stand strongly by some of his former boss’ demonstrably false claims, despite quips and jabs from late-night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

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Recalling his combative first White House outing at the podium, where he boldly claimed Trump’s inauguration drew the “largest audience” ever for the event, Spicer said that it was his job to follow the president’s directives and “make sure that the record got set straight.”

“I think there was a faction of people out there that didn’t want to give him the credit that he rightly deserved,” Spicer said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday, adding that some in the media “constantly sought to undermine the validity of his election.

The former Trump spokesman added that it wasn’t necessarily his job to agree with Trump, but rather to always represent him in public.

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“I think there was a lot of us that wanted to be focused on his agenda, what he spoke about in his inaugural speech, but look, he’s president, he made a decision,” he added.

“I don’t think it was probably the best start,” he conceded.

Spicer also addressed President Trump’s frequent social media posting habits, saying there were times were he may “have wanted to go to bed,” only to notice a new Trump tweet and think: “This is going to be a longer night.”

Despite the added turmoil often brought on by Trump’s tweeting, Spicer said the president almost never asked him to look over his post.

“I don’t believe – maybe one or twice,” he said.

Spicer, who rose to fame in part due to “Saturday Night Live” comedian Melissa McCarthy’s impression of him, which repeatedly went viral online, added that president was not particularly fond of his spokesperson being the butt of the joke.

“I don’t think he found it as humorous as others.”

Spicer resigned from his perch atop the White House press podium in late-July amid a staffing shake-up that ushered in the era of communications director Anthony Scaramucci – an “era” that lasted just over a week.

At the time, Trump touted Spicer’s “great television ratings” in announcing the move, despite the frequent absence of on-camera press briefings during his short-lived yet memorable tenure as press secretary. The president later lamented on Twitter that Spicer took “tremendous abuse from the Fake News Media.”

Though Spicer resigned as press secretary in July, he remained working in the West Wing in an unnamed role until Aug. 31.

Since then, he has kept a limited public profile while fielding future employment opportunities.

Spicer and Kimmel first announced the appearance in a series of posts on Twitter.

Last Friday the late-night posted a picture of himself wearing a Navy had posing with Spicer, who is a member of the Navy Reserve. “Dear @SeanSpicer – if I promise to look AT the camera this time, will you come to my show next week?” Kimmel wrote.

Spicer replied: “It’s a deal, does next Wednesday work?”

Two days prior, Spicer announced he had joined the profitable paid speakers’ circuit with Worldwide Speakers Group.

The company in its announcement said its clients “around the world will benefit from the same candor, wit and insight that Spicer brought to the White House briefing room.”

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