It turns out a spokesman for the Republican National Committee mistakenly confirmed on Friday that chairman Reince Priebus had described the term "self-deportation" as "racist."
The committee's communications director Sean Spicer told TPM on Friday afternoon that a regional spokesperson earlier in the day had mistakenly made the confirmation when he was contacted by a Cornell University law professor and blogger.
William A. Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and a blogger for the website Legal Insurrection, said he reached out to the RNC after Business Insider quoted Priebus describing the term self-deportation as “racist.” After Business Insider corrected the erroneous quote, Jacobson posted his email correspondence with the committee spokesperson, who he said told him the quote was “accurate.”
When TPM originally reached out to Spicer for a comment, he responded via email denying that the committee ever confirmed the quote.
“We never confirmed it – and no one on my staff did,” he wrote.
Shortly after he sent the email, Spicer called TPM to indicate that a regional spokesperson for the RNC confirmed the quote to Jacobson. Spicer did not provide the name of the regional spokesperson.