White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has had a tumultuous relationship with the media in his short time serving the President. However, Spicer has faced a tremendous amount of pressure and been under more scrutiny than most of his predecessors (particularly the press secretaries from the Obama White House). In an exchange on Wednesday morning we were given yet another example of the unfair methodology used by the media to undermine the White House, and Spicer handled the situation beautifully.
The sequence starts with a reporter essentially asking a no-win question (like the old “have you stopped beating your wife” question), that misrepresents something that German leader Angela Merkel recently said. Spicer wasn’t having it, and he corrected the record tout de suite:
Reporter: How did [President Trump] view [German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s] comments that she felt Europe could no longer depend on the United States?
Sean Spicer: Well, respectfully, that’s not what she said. So since you’re misquoting the chancellor, let me read what she actually said.
She said, “the time when Europe could rely solely on others is somewhat in the past, and as I have witnessed over the past few days, Europe must take its fate into its own hands. This means working in friendship with the U.S., the U.K. and neighborly relations with Russia and other partners.”
That’s great. That’s what the president called for. He called for additional burden sharing. The secretary-general of NATO said that the president’s calls are what’s moving them in the right direction. The president is getting results. More countries are stepping up their — their burden sharing. That is a good thing for them. It’s a good thing for NATO, and it’s a good thing for America.