Spicer Denies Report That Trump Stacked CIA Audience With Supporters

White House press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily White House briefing, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

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.

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