Spicer: Trump Explained His Wiretapping Tweet By Citing Media Reports

White House press secretary Sean Spicer calls on a member of the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, March 13, 2017. Spicer discussed surveillance during the 2016 president... White House press secretary Sean Spicer calls on a member of the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, March 13, 2017. Spicer discussed surveillance during the 2016 presidential campaign, North Korea, anti-Semitic attacks and other topics. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

After another press conference in which he refused to provide any evidence for President Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor wiretapped him, Sean Spicer acknowledged that Trump had cited media reports in a conversation about the charge with him.

Earlier in the press conference, Spicer was asked whether the President had shared what he claimed to know about the wiretapping with the Department of Justice.

“I’m not going to get into what the President knew or didn’t know prior to it. I think we’ve already commented on this multiple times,” Spicer replied.

Then how, NBC’s Hallie Jackson followed up later, did Spicer know that Trump meant to include multiple forms of surveillance when he put the word “wiretapping” in quotes in his original accusation?

“In some cases I’ll ask him, ‘What do the quotes mean?’ and he’ll say – ” Spicer began in response.

“Did you ask him about this tweet?” Jackson asked.

“I did,” Spicer replied.

“What did he say,” Jackson asked.

“He said they were in quotes, it’s referring to surveillance overall, it was something that had been referred to in other reports,” Spicer said.

“So he cited other reports in his conversation with you?” Jackson asked.

“He did, yes,” Spicer replied.

“So is that what he was basing that tweet on?” Jackson asked.

“I’m not – as I just mentioned, good try, but I’ve been clear on that,” Spicer said, ending the conversation.

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