Spicer Laments Democrats' Lack of Cooperation At First Press Briefing

Posted: Jan 19, 2017 10:45 AM

Incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave his first press briefing on behalf of the Trump administration on Inauguration Eve in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. He gave a detailed list of President-elect Trump’s agenda for the inauguration, while also remarking on the Democrats’ lack of cooperation.

“It’s disappointing,” Spicer said, that Democratic leadership like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have indicated they will not work with their “highly qualified” cabinet nominees.

“It speaks volumes Democratic leadership are not working with us,” he said, adding later that the opposing party is "slowing down the continuity of government" by delaying confirmation hearings.

Spicer then took reporters’ questions.

Asked if Trump will “make nice” with the CIA after picking fights with the agency on Twitter, Spicer said the president will visit several agencies to tell them how much he appreciates their service to the nation.

Spicer’s first minor tussle with the press came when one reporter suggested that because of Trump’s past remarks on illegal immigrants and his failure to nominate a Hispanic to his cabinet, Americans worry he will not prioritize minority issues.

The question the press should be asking, Spicer returned, is, “Is he hiring the best and the brightest?” He then pointed out that Trump has assembled a very diverse cabinet consisting of an African-American, an Asian American and an Indian American.

Vice-president elect Mike Pence also shared some information on Thursday. Pence said he and Trump appreciated how helpful President Obama, Vice President Biden and their respective teams were during the transition. 

"The cooperation they’ve extended would make every American proud," Pence said, noting their "hospitality and collaboration."  

Pence was also happy to report that because the transition was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, they were able to return 20 percent of taxpayer funding to the Treasury.

"It's a momentous day before a historic day," he said.