White House press secretary Sean Spicer got into a heated exchange with American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan during Tuesday’s press briefing, telling the reporter to “stop shaking your head” and to “report the facts.”
Ryan, near the tail end of Spicer’s briefing, asked the press secretary what the White House was doing to try and repair its image as a number of controversies and investigations regarding Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and President Donald Trump’s team’s potential cooperation with it are at center stage.
“You don’t seem so happy,” Ryan said in a joking manner to Spicer as she was prefacing her question. “With all of these investigations … questions of what is ‘is,’ how does this administration try to revamp its image, two and a half months in?”
She mentioned the Russia controversy, as well as Trump’s unfounded claims that Trump Tower was wiretapped by President Barack Obama prior to the election.
“I’ve said it from the the day that I got here until whatever that there is no connection,” Spicer said. “You’ve got Russia!”
“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection,” he continued.
“I appreciate your agenda here,” he added. “Hold on. At some point, report the facts!”
Spicer said Republicans and Democrats alike have claimed there is not evidence that points to the Trump team’s collusion with Russia in election meddling.
“I’m sorry that that disgusts you,” Spicer said to Ryan. “You’re shaking your head.”
“Understand this, at some point, the facts are what they are,” he said. “And every single person who’s been briefed on this situation have all come to the same conclusion. At some point, April, you’re going to have to take ‘no’ for an answer with respect to whether or not there was collusion.”
Ryan went back to her original question, which was how does the administration hope to change the perception of the White House. Spicer said it would keep “doing everything we are doing” with regards to carrying out the Trump agenda.
The reporter then followed up with a question about the president meeting with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, whom she pointed out Trump called a “b—-” in 2006 and did not support Trump in the run up to the general election.
Spicer, dismayed, went back to lambasting Ryan.
“April, hold on, it seems like you’re hell bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays,” he said, later adding, “Stop shaking your head.”
He said the president was continuing to reach out to people who have disagreed with him in the past, adding “we’re bringing groups together.”
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