White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held his first press conference on Monday. He gathered with the press in the James Brady Briefing Room on Saturday, but that was to deliver a statement. He took no questions on Saturday, but his statement spurred a new meme and jokes online and across the nation.
Monday was a different story though as his press conference went for one hour and nineteen minutes and he took questions from 43 reporters. Whereas his first appearance was widely panned, this press conference was more warmly received, even by journalists.
Spicer did break with one tradition by giving the first question to Daniel Halper of the New York Post. Traditionally, the first question at the White House Daily Briefing goes to the Associated Press. The AP got the sixth question. Spicer chose outlets who typically do not get to ask questions and announced that the briefing will now have four Skype seats for out-of-area journalists in order to allow them to ask questions.
Spicer also reflected on the Administration’s invited hoopla over the Inauguration numbers. Spicer’s statement on Saturday contained several falsehoods in the course of five minutes, but Spicer told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “Our intention is never to lie to you.” Spicer also said that “sometimes we may disagree with the facts.” A statement that raised eyebrows among journalists. Spicer also defended his response to the Inauguration attendance by saying that “the default narrative is always negative” about President Donald Trump and that is “demoralizing.” He also stood by his assertions from Saturday and said it was “unquestionable” that Trump had the most watched Inauguration.
Watch the press conference: