Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is threatening to sue the Associated Press (AP) due to a story appearing yesterday about a confrontation on his book tour. The story said a former high school classmate of Spicer’s accused him of calling him the n-word many years ago.
“Spicer threatens legal action over Associated Press report”
— The Hill (@thehill) July 29, 2018
Spicer’s attorney Michael J. Bowe said in a statement Saturday night that they will file a lawsuit because the AP “recklessly republished a categorically false accusation about Sean Spicer.”
“The claim is a lie. Absent an immediate retraction, Mr. Spicer will take legal action Monday,” Bowe said.
The AP story said there was an incident at a bookstore in Middletown, R.I., on Friday where Spicer was holding a book signing. It said that a black man claiming to have gone to school with Spicer at Portsmouth Abbey School accused Spicer of using a racial slur when they were in school together.
Here is how AP reported the incident:
“Alex Lombard, who was standing behind a small group of people waiting in line to meet Spicer and get him to sign the book, called out Spicer’s name and said they went to Portsmouth Abbey School together. Spicer waved to him and said, “Hey. Yeah. How are you?”
Lombard, a Newport native who now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then accused Spicer of calling him the N-word and trying to fight him when they were at school.
“You don’t remember that you tried to fight me?” Lombard asked. “But you called me a (N-word) first.”
A security guard approached Lombard and led him away as he kept talking: “I was 14 then. I was a scared kid then, Sean. I’m not scared to fight you now.”
Spicer’s publicist told the AP that Donald Trump’s former press secretary “was taken aback by the outrageous claim.” The publicist, Lauren McCue from Regnery Publishing, said Spicer “can’t recall any incident like the one Lombard described.”
Video of the encounter was posted online by NewportRI.com showing Lombard approaching Spicer while he was seated at a table signing books at event. The video doesn’t show Spicer’s reaction to the accusation of using the racial slur by Lombard.
Spicer is on tour promoting his new book, “The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and the President,” about his rocky time serving in the White House as press secretary. According to the AP “The book paints a rosy if sometimes thorny picture of Trump, describing him as “a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow” and a man to whom the regular rules of politics don’t apply.”
Spicer left his position as White House Press Secretary last summer.
This isn’t the first time Spicer has been confronted on his book tour. On Wednesday a protester interrupted a book signing in New York City by calling him a “garbage person.”
“Hey Sean, you’re a real piece of garbage and I hope you look around and see all these empty seats,” the protester said inside a Barnes & Noble bookstore. “And I hope you realize in even in New York City people will not come and pay to hear you speak.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.