Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has written a book about his tenure in the Trump White House. In The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President, Spicer dishes about some of his more infamous press conferences, his proudest moments and his regrets.
BBC host Emily Maitlis had the former press secretary on her program Tuesday night. She was less interested in Spicer's learning experiences and more interested in grilling him about how he was complicit in the Trump administration's history of spewing "half-truths" and "lies."
BBC interviewer to Sean Spicer: "You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies" pic.twitter.com/HsvNLajwQu— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) July 24, 2018
"I'm sorry Emily," Spicer pushed back. "You're taking no accountability for the many false narratives and false stories the media perpetrated."
It's "absolutely ridiculous" for her to make such claims, he added.
Still, the interviewer didn't let Spicer off the hook for being an "agent" of Trump's "lies."
GQ and other outlets applauded Maitlis's interview technique.
The former press secretary was defensive but he also conceded that he "took responsibility where he felt he fell short or could've done better."
One of those instances happened to be his very first press conference. Instead of waiting until the Monday after Trump's inauguration to give his first presser, Spicer called reporters in on Saturday, where he proceeded to try and correct some false news reports that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office and that his inauguration crowd sizes paled in comparison to President Obama's. In an exclusive interview with Townhall editor Katie Pavlich, Spicer shared his regrets about the decision to have a rushed first presser.
"There was a desire to push back" on those reports, he explained. But, it "was not putting his best foot forward."
In a Q&A discussion at his book launch party Tuesday night, Pavlich asked Spicer if his mock press briefings helped at all before he started the real thing. He said he wished they would have been a little more challenging. Yet, he did not regret having served as press secretary. It was, he said, his "American dream."