White House press secretary Sean Spicer incorrectly claimed on Tuesday that CNN “denied” reports that the network passed over booking President Donald Trump’s top advisor Kellyanne Conway due to issues with her “credibility.”
“CNN reportedly declined to interview Kellyanne Conway on Sunday because of questions about her credibility,” Yahoo! reporter Hunter Walker asked at the daily briefing. “Is the White House willing to offer alternative representatives to networks that refuse to work with specific spokespeople?”
“My understanding is they retracted that, they walked that back or denied it, however you want to put it,” Spicer said. “I think Kellyanne is a very trusted aide of the President. I think for any characterization otherwise is insulting.”
He said that if networks choose not to book a specific spokesperson the decision is “up to them.”
“I think we’re going to continue to put out key leaders in this administration including Kellyanne that can articulate the President’s policies and agenda,” Spicer said.
CNN refuted Spicer’s claims in a statement posted Tuesday afternoon.
“We have not ‘retracted’ or ‘walked back’ those comments,” the network’s communications team tweeted. “CNN was clear, on the record, about our concerns about Kellyanne Conway’s credibility.”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 7, 2017
“False,” she posted. “I could do no live Sunday shows this week BC of family. Plus, I was invited onto CNN today & tomorrow.”
In a reply posted Tuesday, CNN’s communications team said the network “passed” on booking Conway, saying that she “was offered to SOTU on Sunday by the White House” but the network turned down the offer.
. @KellyannePolls was offered to SOTU on Sunday by the White House. We passed. Those are the facts.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 6, 2017