‘If he’s not joking, of course!’: Sean Spicer on whether Trump’s statements can be trusted ‘to be real’

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked directly on Monday, “can you say affirmatively, whenever the president says something, we can trust it to be real?”

Spicer responded, “if he’s not joking, of course!”

The question followed a series of others by the same reporter about President Donald Trump’s credibility, one of which focused on the allegations that President Barack Obama illegally tapped the phones at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Following is a transcript of the video:

[PETER ALEXANDER] You spoke on behalf of the president, quoting him on the jobs report on Friday. You said, “they may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”

[SEAN SPICER] They are very real now.

[ALEXANDER] They are very real now. The question is —

[SPICER] Just want to make sure you get it right.

[ALEXANDER] When should Americans trust the president? Should they trust the president, is it phony or real, when he says that President Obama was wiretapping?

[SPICER] Well, again, let’s get back. I think there’s two things that are important about what he said. I think recognising that it’s the Obama — he doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally. I think —

[ALEXANDER] What does he think?

[SPICER] But I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election. That is a widely reported activity that occurred back then.

The president used the word “wiretap” in quote to mean broadly surveillance and other activities during that.

[ALEXANDER] Can you say affirmatively, whenever the president says something, we can trust it to be real?

[SPICER] If he’s not joking, of course! In that case — no, no, you’re asking — hold on —

[ALEXANDER] Let’s start over again with joking.

[SPICER] OK, no, no. But your point is — Every time that he speaks authoritatively, that he speaks, he’s speaking as president of the United States.

[ALEXANDER] More than 3 million Americans voted illegally.

[SPICER] Yes, and he still believes that.

[ALEXANDER] When he was speaking, was he joking or does he believe it?

[SPICER] He does believe it.