Tilting his chin up in defiance (please note, SNL), White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to put an end to questions about the need for a special prosecutor to investigate President Trump’s Russian connections with nothing but arrogant outrage.
Spicer demanded, “I guess my question would be, ‘A Special Prosecutor for what?’ We’ve heard reports for six months and nothing has come of it… Russia’s involvement has been investigated up and down.”
Spicer then claimed that the FBI “came to them” to declare that a story in the Times was not true.
It was quite a show. If only denials counted in anything other than alternative fact world. Watch here via NBC News’ Bradd Jaffy:
Spicer: “A Special Prosecutor for what? … Russia’s involvement has been investigated up and down”
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 27, 2017
Poor Jonathan Karl (he of the conservative media training) tried to have a serious question and answer session with Spicer about the need for a special prosecutor.
After Spicer pretended there was no “there” there with his, “I guess my question would be, ‘A Special Prosecutor for what?'”
Here’s a few screengrabs of Karl’s face because his look of confusion is priceless:
Karl explained as one would to perhaps a non-speaking child, “To look into the whole Russia connection —”
Spicer wasn’t going to allow that to be heard, so he spoke over Karl, “But, yeah, and here’s my so here’s my –”
Karl continued trying to explain the obvious conflict of interest in Jeff Sessions being in charge of an investigation into his own behavior as part of the Trump campaign, “Sessions was part of the campaign –”
Oh, no, Spicer wasn’t having any of that. “We have now, for six months, heard story after story come out about unnamed sources say the same thing over and over again…. and nothing’s come of it.”
Well, not exactly nothing. I mean, General Flynn was fired for his contacts with Russia during the transition in what appears to be an undermining of President Obama’s sanctions on Russia, which is of course a real problem because it looks like a quid pro quo.
So the question is, what did Trump get from Russia?
Spicer also thought that Chairman Nunes alleged denials of any Russia problem were good enough, as if as a Republican and former Trump Transition Team Executive Committee Member, Devin Nunes has no motive to deny reality.
However, these investigations are ongoing, and no conclusions have been reached.
Nunes, whose agenda is obvious given his own involvement in the growing Russia scandal, tried to spin his way out of it by claiming it would be a “witch hunt,” as if witch hunts weren’t what Republicans specialize in:
Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes doesn't want to go on a "witch hunt" in investigating Trump campaign contact with Russia. pic.twitter.com/MhYfvX1Ze8
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 27, 2017
Fuller explained in a Huffington Post article, “After The Washington Post reported last week that the White House had enlisted intelligence officials and leading lawmakers ― like Nunes and Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) ― to dispute reports that the Trump campaign had repeated contact with Russia, Nunes spoke to journalists to address the controversy.”
More, “… So when the Post reported that the White House had asked Nunes, a Trump campaign surrogate and a member of the transition team, to talk to a reporter, it bolstered the argument that the intelligence chairman isn’t up to the job of investigating the White House’s ties to Russia.”
This is the White House’s source for why we should just let this all go.
If you’re keeping track, all of the people on Trump’s various teams deny totally that they worked with Russia behind President Obama’s back or colluded with Russia to win an election they looked doomed for.
They are all innocent, no need to ask anyone who wouldn’t be facing criminal charges if what they are saying isn’t true, after all, it’s only our national security and indeed western democracy at stake! But HEY PEOPLE, they won and so can you all please shut up about HOW they won?
“You have to ask yourself, what are you investigating?” Spicer tried to lecture Karl, who still wasn’t buying what Spicer was selling.
“Well, Russian interference,” Karl replied, saying the words Spicer probably wishes he hasn’t left an opening for.
Spicer tried to shut it all down by saying that the House and Senate looked at it, and the Intelligence Community had “looked at it.”
He didn’t say that they found nothing. So chalk that up to Trumpian teflon is catching.
Because of course, that isn’t true. In fact, it is the intelligence community that is forcing the issue because Republicans are blocking it and they have the majority in the House and Senate.
If Democrats win back the majority in 2018 in the Senate, it would behoove us all if they would finally do the country a solid and investigate the Republicans who are trying their best to quash this entire thing because it stinks to high heaven.
Spicer said there was no new reporting, which of course is not true.
Karl pushed back hard, “Do you now categorically deny that there were no contacts between the Russians and the–”
Spicer spun, “Oh, I can’t deny — and I’m –”
Karl, “Well that’s what an investigation would look at –”
Spicer, spinning off the axis of THE QUESTION, pivoted back to well the House and Senate looked at it and blah. “How many people have to say there’s nothing there before you realize there’s nothing there.”
Um. Well, why not start with a denial by President Trump that he and his campaign team and transition team had NO contact with Russia? Oh, that’s right, they did have contact with Russia. OK. So… That’s why this isn’t going away.
So the real point here is Spicer would like you to stop asking about Russia, okay? and no, he won’t deny there is a problem but hello, stop asking because others asked and there’s nothing there.
Are you all good now?
Why so mean, America.
Remember, Spicer can’t deny and wouldn’t deny the Trump contact with Russia. That is all that really came out of this exchange, and that is all that really matters. That and Jonathan Karl’s face should become a meme for consternation.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.