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January 21, 2017
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
5:39 P.M. EST
MR. SPICER: Good evening. Thank you guys for coming. I know our first official press briefing is going to be on Monday, but I wanted to give you a few updates on the President's activities. But before I get to the news of the day, I think I'd like to discuss a little bit of the coverage of the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power and, as the President said, the transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States, some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting. For all the talk about the proper use of Twitter, two instances yesterday stand out.
One was a particular egregious example in which a reporter falsely tweeted out that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. After it was pointed out that this was just plain wrong, the reporter casually reported and tweeted out and tried to claim that a Secret Service agent must have just been standing in front of it. This was irresponsible and reckless.
Secondly, photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. This was the first time in our nation's history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual. This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.
Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers, because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out. By the way, this applies to any attempts to try to count the number of protestors today in the same fashion.
We do know a few things, so let's go through the facts. We know that from the platform where the President was sworn in, to 4th Street, it holds about 250,000 people. From 4th Street to the media tent is about another 220,000. And from the media tent to the Washington Monument, another 250,000 people. All of this space was full when the President took the Oath of Office. We know that 420,000 people used the D.C. Metro public transit yesterday, which actually compares to 317,000 that used it for President Obama's last inaugural. This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period -- both in person and around the globe. Even the New York Times printed a photograph showing a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original Tweet in their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth in crowd, and intensity that existed.
These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong. The President was also at the -- as you know, the President was also at the Central Intelligence Agency and greeted by a raucous overflow crowd of some 400-plus CIA employees. There were over 1,000 requests to attend, prompting the President to note that he'll have to come back to greet the rest. The employees were ecstatic that he's the new Commander-in-Chief, and he delivered them a powerful and important message. He told them he has their back, and they were grateful for that. They gave him a five-minute standing ovation at the end in a display of their patriotism and their enthusiasm for his presidency.
I'd also note that it's a shame that the CIA didn’t have a CIA Director to be with him today when he visited, because the Democrats have chosen -- Senate Democrats are stalling the nomination of Mike Pompeo and playing politics with national security. That's what you guys should be writing and covering, instead of sowing division about tweets and false narratives.
The President is committed to unifying our country, and that was the focus of his inaugural address. This kind of dishonesty in the media, the challenging -- that bringing about our nation together is making it more difficult.
There's been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable. And I'm here to tell you that it goes two ways. We're going to hold the press accountable, as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger for this incredible movement, he will take his message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.
And with that, a few other updates from the day. The President had a constructive conversation with Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada about strengthening the relationship between our two nations. They also discussed setting up additional meetings in the days to come, which we will follow up on. He also spoke to Prime Minister Peña Nieto of Mexico, and talked about a visit on trade, immigration and security that will occur on the 31st. The President will welcome his first foreign leader this Thursday when the United Kingdom's Theresa May will come to Washington -- on Friday.
Tomorrow, the President will oversee his Assistants to the President being sworn in. The staff will then have an ethics briefing, a briefing on the proper use and handling of classified information. Further updates as far as what he will do -- oh, and then in the evening, he will have a reception for law enforcement and first responders that helped support the inauguration.
Thank you guys for being here tonight. I will see you on Monday.
END 5:44 P.M. EST
Sean Spicer slams media over inauguration crowd coverage
White House press secretary Sean Spicer came to the briefing room Saturday to chastise journalists for their coverage of attendance at President Trump&rsquos inauguration before leaving the briefing room without taking any questions.
&ldquoSome members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting,&rdquo Spicer said, calling out two examples on Twitter of &ldquoinaccurate numbers involving crowd size&rdquo as well as reporting from a Time magazine journalist that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office.
&ldquoInaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted,&rdquo Spicer said, his voice escalating in volume. &ldquoNo one had numbers. because the National Park Service does not put any out.&rdquo He said the same applied to &ldquoany attempt to count the protesters today,&rdquo referring to the Women&rsquos March on Washington that packed the National Mall area.
Despite the lack of numbers he cited, Spicer went on to assert &ldquothis was the largest audience to ever witness the inauguration period both in person and around the globe.&rdquo
&ldquoPhotographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way in one particular tweet to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall,&rdquo Spicer said. He described what he considered unfair visuals from the event: &ldquoThis was the first time in our nation&rsquos history that floor coverings were used to protect the grass on the mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing while in years past, the grass eliminated this visual.&rdquo
Later, Spicer blasted the reporting as &ldquoshameful&rdquo and &ldquowrong,&rdquo calling them &ldquoattempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration.&rdquo
The newly minted press secretary didn&rsquot only target the media: Spicer also lobbed attacks at Senate Democrats, who he accused of &ldquostalling&rdquo the confirmation of Mike Pompeo, Mr. Trump&rsquos CIA pick.
To reporters in the room, Spicer said Pompeo&rsquos confirmation was &ldquowhat you guys should be writing and covering.&rdquo Spicer vowed that the Trump administration would &ldquohold the press accountable.&rdquo
At the briefing, Spicer also laid out the president&rsquos upcoming schedule, mentioning that British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit the White House in the next week.
The press secretary announced that Mr. Trump spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto Saturday. To the Mexican leader, Mr. Trump discussed holding a visit on trade, immigration and security that will occur on Jan. 31.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump complained at an appearance at the CIA about network coverage suggesting that his crowds were thin.
&ldquoI get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I said, &lsquoWait a minute, I made a speech,&rsquo I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million-and-a-half people,&rdquo he told CIA staffers at a visit to Langley Saturday. &ldquoThey showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there, and they said Donald Trump did not draw well.&rdquo
&ldquoIt looked honestly, it looked like a million-and-a-half people, whatever it was, it was, but it went all the way back to Washington Monument,&rdquo Mr. Trump added. He took umbrage at some media coverage that suggested much lower numbers. &ldquoI get this network and it showed an empty field,&rdquo he marveled. &ldquoAnd it said we drew 250,000 people, now that&rsquos not bad but it&rsquos a lie.&rdquo Mr. Trump claimed &ldquothe 20-block area all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.&rdquo
Media coverage of the inauguration crowds relied on aerial photos of the two addresses from the opposite end of the National Mall to draw comparisons, with President Obama&rsquos 2009 inauguration apparently drawing much denser crowds. Spicer made no reference of aerial photos in the briefing, using instead two photographs from behind the Capitol, an angle from which the disparity is not as clear.
Speaking to CBSN after Spicer&rsquos statement, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett said: &ldquoIt is quite clear that this administration will make whatever representations it wants to on its impression and interpretation of the news and drive that right back at the news media if it thinks it is being unfair or inflicting damage on the image this White House wants to display.&rdquo
&ldquoI&rsquove never seen anything like this where it was so intense, so harsh and passionate right off the beginning,&rdquo said Garrett. &ldquoSo much of it was about what the media got wrong from the interpretation of this White House and a declaration that this antagonism is going to continue because this president feels duty-bound, on behalf of this movement that Sean Spicer spoke about, to speak beyond the media and criticize it whenever he is justified in doing so.&rdquo
A combination of photos taken at the National Mall shows the crowds attending the inauguration ceremonies to swear in U.S. President Donald Trump at 12:01pm (L) on January 20, 2017 and President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, in Washington, DC, U.S. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (L), Stelios Varias TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSWJVI
On Friday evening, the National Park Service was ordered by the Interior Department to cease tweeting after a staffer retweeted a reporter&rsquos comment on the sparser crowds that appeared to attend Mr. Trump&rsquos inauguration.
About 30.6 million people watched the inauguration, according to the Nielsen ratings, a smaller number than the 38 million who watched Mr. Obama&rsquos first inauguration in 2009.
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America’s dangerously shallow understanding of the Holocaust
When White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested on April 11 that atrocities carried out under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were in some way worse than those of Adolf Hitler, his statement placed him firmly in the bosom of a fine American tradition. Spicer may have sparked national outrage and calls for his resignation — a sign that, at least in some quarters, it was understood that what he said was beyond the pale. Yet the historical record reveals him as the latest in a long line of American officials making questionable Hitler comparisons similarly rooted in ignorance or thoughtlessness.
During the opening months of the first Gulf War in 1990, President George H.W. Bush asserted that Saddam Hussein had used human shields on strategic targets, a kind of "brutality that I don't believe Adolf Hitler ever participated in." Five years later, New York City Congress member Charles Rangel equated Republicans' social policies toward minorities with the treatment of Jews under Hitler, and his fellow representative, Major Owens, declared Republicans "worse than Hitler."
The impulse to Hitlersplain existed across much of the 20th century, starting as far back as Rep. John Robison of Kentucky, who claimed that FDR's New Deal "treated our citizens worse than Hitler treated the Jews in Germany." Posted into the congressional debate record in 1939, Robison's indictment predated the Holocaust itself — not that that made the argument any less foolish.
Nor did Spicer’s comment represent his first foray into Holocaust-related controversy. A January statement issued on International Holocaust Remembrance Day had previously rattled historically minded listeners by addressing the tragedy without referencing Jews at all. What might have started as a gaffe was underlined the next day, when Spicer emphasized the many groups of people who had died at the hands of the Nazis. "Despite what the media reports," he said, "we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered."
The Holocaust occupies a peculiar place in American political discourse. Hitler serves as shorthand for pure evil, and the Holocaust is taught in schools, memorialized in a DC museum, and remembered in films like Schindler’s List as the epitome of inhumanity in the modern world. It is, in some ways, everywhere. .
January 21: White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds (CNN)
One day after Trump’s inauguration, Spicer used his first press briefing to lambast the media for accurately reporting the event’s crowd size compared to prior inaugurations.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, despite all available evidence showing otherwise.
More than six weeks later, the National Park Service released official photos that clearly showed Trump’s crowd paled in comparison to the number of attendees at President Barack Obama’s 2009 and 2013 inaugurations.
Is Sean Spicer the shortest-serving White House press secretary in history?
News that Sean Spicer stepped down from his position as White House press secretary on Friday — and with former deputy secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to take over the post — filled the hearts of his opponents with a certain schadenfreude. Not only had Spicer’s time in President Donald Trump’s cabinet been punctuated with more than its fair share of blunders, but it also seemed almost insultingly short.
Spicer is in good company, though: While his six-month tenure situates him among some of the shortest-serving press secretaries and cabinet members in the history of the White House, several others have had their terms cut even shorter for one reason or another.
This list naturally includes Spicer’s former colleague, Michael Flynn, who served just 24 days in the Trump administration as national security adviser before resigning in February following revelations about his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn’s resignation would be the first in a rather long line of casualties within the Trump White House, which has earned the administration a reputation for in-fighting and dysfunction.
As for press secretaries, Spicer outlasted Jonathan W. Daniels, who served as press secretary to Franklin D. Roosevelt for 47 days in 1945. Daniels left his post after Roosevelt’s death, going on to be an adviser to President Harry Truman.
Others have served tenures of comparable length: According to NBC News, Robert Bacon served as secretary state for 38 days under Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, while Andrew Johnson, who served as vice president for just 43 days in 1865. Of course, Johnson’s tenure only ended prematurely because of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, after which time he became president.
Much later, Lawrence Eagleburger served as secretary of state under George H. W. Bush for just 42 days between 1992 and 1993. Eagleburger had previously served for five months as acting secretary of state, but hadn’t been confirmed until Bush lost his re-election campaign to Bill Clinton. Eagleburger served the remainder of Bush’s term, up until Clinton’s inauguration.
On the lower end of the spectrum, there are cabinet members who have barely served a dozen days in their position.
Thomas W. Gilmer, who’s earned the distinction of being the shortest-serving cabinet member in White House history, spent just 10 days as secretary of the Navy under President John Tyler. Gilmer, along with Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, died on Feb. 28, 1844 in an explosion aboard a naval ship.
In the same range, there’s Elihu Benjamin Washburne, Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of state, who served 11 days in his post. Washburne’s role was mostly a symbolic gesture — according to the Office of the Historian, Grant’s appointment was a “personal yet temporary means to honor” Washburne while he restructured his cabinet. Washburne’s successor, Hamilton Fish, took over on March 16, 1869.
The New York Times’ report suggests Spicer’s run didn’t end on the best of terms. According to the outlet, Spicer was strongly opposed to Trump’s appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, who took over as communications director on Friday.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer: ‘Our Intention Is Never to Lie’ But ‘Sometimes We Can Disagree with the Facts’
Two days after making false statements about the attendance and audience for President Donald Trump’s inauguration, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer vowed to always “be honest with the American people” — but added that “sometimes we can disagree with the facts.”
Asked in his first official press briefing on Monday if it was his “intention to always tell the truth from that podium,” Spicer told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, “It is. It’s an honor to do this and yes, I believe that we have to be honest with the American people.”
But, Spicer added, “I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts. There are certain things that we may not fully understand when we come out but our intention is never to lie to you … and you’re in the same boat. There are times when you guys tweet something out or write a story and you publish a correction. That doesn’t mean that you were intentionally trying to deceive readers or the American people, does it? And I think we should be afforded the same opportunity.”
Press Sec: "We have to be honest with the American people. I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts…our intention is never to lie" pic.twitter.com/4ZaeWxzKGu
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 23, 2017
Asked whether he wished to amend his Saturday statement saying that Trump’s inauguration had “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe,” Spicer instead doubled down on his comments.
“Sure, it was the most watched inaugural … It’s unquestionable,” Spicer said, clarifying that his definition of a viewing audience included not just people standing on the National Mall or watching on television but also audiences who watched the inauguration online and through streaming services — audience numbers that have not yet been publicly confirmed, according to ABC News.
When pressed on whether Trump’s inauguration had a larger audience than those at former President Ronald Reagan’s inaugurations, Spicer said, “I’m pretty sure that Reagan didn’t have YouTube, Facebook or the Internet.”
Politico noted that “calculating the overall global viewership for Trump’s inauguration would be nearly impossible, but in the U.S., it was viewed by 30.6 million Americans. That would put Trump’s inaugural ceremony behind that of former Presidents Ronald Reagan (41.8 million viewers in 1981), Obama (37.7 million in 2009), Jimmy Carter (34.1 million in 1977) and Richard Nixon (33 million in 1973). The Nielsen numbers do not include viewers who watched on online livestreams.”
Analysis of news footage and aerial photos appeared to indicate that far fewer people attended Trump’s inauguration than did the 2009 inauguration of former President Barack Obama, The New York Times, Politico and other outlets reported.
The inauguration crowd figures aside, CNN reported that Spicer’s statement on Saturday included several misstatements of fact, including his claim that “this is the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall.” Spicer claimed that this “had the effect of highlighting areas people were not standing whereas in years past the grass eliminated this visual.”
But the coverings were in fact used for Obama’s second inauguration in 2013.
Spicer also claimed that Trump’s inauguration was “the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.”
But a United States Secret Service spokesperson told CNN that no magnetometers were used on the Mall.
After many in the media accused Spicer of making false claims about the inauguration crowd size, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended him, saying he was giving “alternative facts.”
On Saturday, Spicer appeared in the White House briefing room and read a statement attacking “some members of the media” for what he called their “deliberately false reporting” of Trump’s inauguration attendance figures. He did not take any questions after making the statement, a move he defended on Monday by saying, “Look — I came out to read a statement. I did it. We’re here today. I’m going to stay as long as you want.”
The backlash over his Saturday comments was not lost on Spicer, however, who opened Monday’s press conference with something of a peace offering to West Wing journalists.
“I know that Josh Earnest was voted the most popular press secretary by the Press Corps. So after reading — checking my Twitter feed, I shot Josh an email last night letting him know that he can rest easy that his title is secure for at least the next few days,” Spicer joked.
Sean Spicer Will Be Remembered for His Lies
For Sean Spicer, a staffing issue finally made working at the White House intolerable. What is the red line that President Trump must cross for his aides to quit on principle? Photograph by T. J. Kirkpatrick / NYT / Redux
Sean Spicer’s resignation, on Friday morning, after six months of routinely lying from the White House lectern and then ending on-camera briefings altogether, once again raises one of the most important questions of the Trump era: What is the red line that Trump must cross for his aides to quit on principle? For Spicer, the answer was a new boss he didn’t like. Trump, over the objections of Spicer and Spicer’s closest White House ally, Reince Priebus, the President’s chief of staff, hired Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier and frequent Trump surrogate on TV, as his new White House communications director.
The hire is unusual for several reasons. The role of communications director, a job that has been vacant since May, when Michael Dubke, a low-key Republican strategist, resigned from the position, is traditionally reserved for campaign operatives. Scaramucci is a Wall Street guy—he started at Goldman Sachs and later founded his own investment firms—and a former host on the Fox Business channel. Before the Trump campaign, his experience in politics was more on the fund-raising side than on the strategy side. In the Trump campaign, which was small, he took on a broader role as an adviser to the candidate and appeared frequently on TV, where he stood out because he was less ideological than the usual pro-Trump pundits.
More unusual is the way Scaramucci was hired. In a normal White House, the chief of staff is in charge of hiring. For the President to overrule his chief of staff on such an important position is an enormous embarrassment for Priebus. During a briefing on Friday afternoon, Scaramucci tried to downplay the friction between him and Priebus, but for months he has been telling people of his frustrations with the chief of staff. Scaramucci was originally asked to run the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, but Priebus blocked Scaramucci from taking the job, even after Scaramucci sold his investment firm to take it.
Scaramucci then appealed directly to Trump to find him another position. He had three meetings scheduled with the President, and they were all cancelled. Scaramucci believed that Priebus, who is in charge of Trump’s schedule, worked to keep him away from Trump. Scaramucci “had to go over the top and directly to the President,” a source familiar with the episode said. “The problem is that Trump is in such a bubble now, he doesn’t know what the hell is going on.” Scaramucci was offered the ambassadorship to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in Europe.
If Priebus thought he had rid the White House of Scaramucci, he was wrong. In recent weeks, Scaramucci was a familiar figure at the Trump Hotel in Washington, meeting with reporters and Trump advisers. Ostensibly, he was there because he was working as an official at the D.C.-based Export-Import Bank. But, clearly, something else was in the works.
For Spicer, Trump’s decision to install Scaramucci above him—the press secretary reports to the communications director—was too much to take. Given the highs and lows of Spicer’s time at the White House, this was an unusual choice of hills to die on. Spicer began his tenure as press secretary with a bizarre rant about how Trump’s Inauguration audience “was the largest audience to ever witness an Inauguration, period.” (It wasn’t.) For someone who was never fully inside the Trump circle of trust, the performance had the ring of an eager gang initiate committing a crime to please the boss. Trump, who regularly watched the briefings, which were broadcast live on cable news, reportedly complained about Spicer’s pale suits and later seemed to become aggravated that Spicer was becoming famous, or at least infamous. Spicer’s temper tantrums, ill-fitting suits, and mispronunciations turned him into a pop-culture sensation.
But it was Spicer’s lies and defense of lies that he will be remembered for. Spicer defended Trump’s lie about how there were three million fraudulent votes in the 2016 election. He spent weeks using shifting stories to defend Trump’s lie about President Barack Obama wiretapping Trump Tower. In trying to explain the urgency of the attack on Syria, Spicer explained, “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Last week, he lied about the nature of the meeting at Trump Tower in June, 2016, between senior Trump-campaign officials and several people claiming to have information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. “There was nothing, as far as we know, that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption,” Spicer claimed, bizarrely, because Donald Trump, Jr., had already admitted that the meeting was about Russian dirt on Clinton. On March 10th, Spicer came to the lectern wearing an upside-down American flag, which is a signal of dire distress.
Despite the repeated humiliations of standing before reporters and saying things he had to know were untrue, what finally made working at the White House intolerable for Spicer was a minor staffing issue. Scaramucci comes to his new job with a good reputation. He is not a conservative ideologue—he is pro-choice, a moderate on gun control, and anti-death penalty—and he is well-liked by reporters. But working for Trump can have a corrosive effect on good people. Scaramucci’s task is to, without sacrificing his own reputation, communicate on behalf of a President who routinely lies. Scaramucci has his work cut out for him.
Statements From Sean Spicer’s First Weekend as My Personal Press Secretary
I didn’t plan on hiring a personal press secretary, but when opportunity knocks, you take it. Opportunity knocked into me particularly hard on Friday , when Sean Spicer hit me in a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. He volunteered to serve as my personal press secretary for a while if I promised to keep the collision quiet. After all, he’s in between jobs, and apparently, it’s pretty expensive to insure a motorized podium.
Anyway, why not? It’s a win-win: I get to fulfill my lifelong dream of having someone else do all of my talking, and Sean gets to fulfill his dream of having a boss who won’t equip his podium with a speed limiter. Here are the statements he delivered in his first weekend speaking for me, preserved for posterity and because Sean insists the “fake media” will misquote him.
Statement From the Accident Scene
“Good afternoon. As you have heard by now, Melanie was struck by a driver in this parking lot. She was not at fault, and neither was the person who hit her. Both of them are very, very not at fault. The truth is that this was a collision between the two most talented drivers in history – period. That’s the story you should be covering, instead of the impressively high number of donuts Melanie ordered or what bushes the other guy may have hid behind.”
Statement to My Friends on My Availability to Go Out Friday Night
“Unfortunately, Melanie is unable to accompany you to whatever loud bars you have chosen to frequent tonight. This is not, as the media has reported, because she is just staying home to watch the fourth season of Boston Legal. Her excuses that she ‘doesn’t feel well’ or ‘has other plans’ are 100 percent accurate. They may have been phony in the past, but they’re very real now.”
Statement to the Starbucks Barista (Given by Kellyanne Conway Because Sean Spicer Had Already Booked a Children’s Birthday Party Gig)
“Yes, Melanie will be having a tall iced coffee and a panini, though I’m not sure why you’re so concerned with her order. The real story is your panini ovens. How can we be sure that there’s not a camera in those – what? Look, Melanie, I can’t be blamed for not staying on message if you won’t buy me anything. Go ahead and add another panini to the order. Cold, please.”
Statement Kellyanne Conway Read When I Asked Her to Record My Outgoing Voicemail Message, Because Why Not? (Also, I Don’t Have to Return Her to the Sarcophagus Until 5)
“‘Melanie can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave your message, and she will definitely get back to you.’ Are you sure this is all you want me to say? Normally people ask me to lie for them.”
Sean’s First Statement Upon His Return, In Response to a Scam Caller
“No, this isn’t Melanie, this is her press secretary. She wouldn’t normally pick up these calls, but I insisted on answering to tell you that you’re spreading the biggest lies in history. Not even Hit – not even the worst villain of all time would use fake calls to make people do things that will hurt them. You should be ashamed of yourself for misleading people for a living.”
Statement Sean Prepared When I Told Him I Won’t Be Going to Work on Monday
“Melanie will not be in the office on Monday. She will return to work on Tuesday . She hopes that her supervisors are understanding and don’t insist on bringing in one of their outside friends in her absence. I mean, people love Melanie, she gets good ratings. Her superiors shouldn’t punish her with the addition of a newcomer with better hair, more emotional intelligence, and favorable appearances on Fox News. Please respect our privacy at this time.”
Author: Melanie Angel
Melanie Angel is a writer in Austin, Texas. She has studied late-night television and satirical writing with The Second City. When she's not writing about politics, she's livetweeting game show reruns @weakenedupdate.