Spicer Denies Report That Trump Stacked CIA Audience With Supporters

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday disputed a CBS report that Donald Trump’s team filled the front three rows at his speech to CIA employees with Trump supporters.

CBS reported that those heard cheering during Trump’s remarks were guests of Trump, Mike Pence, and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), the nominee to lead the CIA.

“I don’t think that’s accurate at all. If you listen to audio of it, you can hear the excitement that existed there. There were some people off-camera for obvious reasons, but I think when you looked at the number of people there, the audio alone tells — speaks volumes to what had happened,” Spicer said when first asked about the CBS report.

When asked who sat in the front row, Spicer at first said he was unsure and that he believed Trump supporters made up a “small footprint” at the CIA headquarters on Saturday.

Later, Spicer said that there were no Trump supporters in the first three rows.

He also addressed why Trump talked about his rift with the intelligence community during his remarks at the CIA.

“I think when he walked into that and saw it, he wanted to make sure people knew that what you’re hearing on television or in reports about this rift, I have the utmost respect for you. I honor your service. I’m proud of what you’re doing and the sacrifices you’re making,” Spicer said.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: