Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended himself on Thursday against accusations that he lied to the American public on behalf of President Donald Trump, saying he never “knowingly” did so.
In an interview with Paula Faris of “Good Morning America,” Spicer conceded that he had “made mistakes” during his time as press secretary, but did not believe he had deliberately been dishonest.
“I don’t think so,” he said after Faris asked whether he had ever lied to the American people. When she pressed him on whether he could unequivocally say he had not lied, Spicer added that, “I have not knowingly done anything to do that, no.”
Spicer said he had attempted to take responsibility for his mistakes “very publicly.”
“In some cases there were things that I did that until someone brought it up, I said, ‘Gosh I didn’t realise that was a mistake. I’m sorry about that,'” he said. “But to watch some of the personal attacks — questioning my integrity, questioning what my intentions were — I think that was really over the top.”
The interview was Spicer’s first since his controversial cameo at the Emmy awards, in which he appeared during host Stephen Colbert’s monologue with a mock podium to proclaim, “This is the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period.”
The appearance echoed the false claims Spicer made at his infamous press briefing in January, in which he assailed the media and insisted that Trump’s inauguration drew the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe.”
Spicer’s remark was disproven by photographic evidence that showed a much smaller audience on the National Mall than the crowd at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
Spicer addressed the inauguration incident on “Good Morning America,” telling Faris that he had some regrets about how he handled it.
“I think it might have been better to be a lot more specific with what we were talking about in terms of the universe, and not focus so much on photographic evidence, etc.,” Spicer said. “So, yes, from that standpoint, I think I probably could have had more facts at hand and been more articulate at describing the entirety of what that day was about.”
Watch a clip of the interview below:
EXCLUSIVE: Sean Spicer says he did not “knowingly” lie in first TV interview since #Emmys appearance: https://t.co/jGJ0mfxdGD – @paulafaris pic.twitter.com/r8gyDlmAwF
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2017
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.