In a confrontational interview broadcasted this Monday, BBC anchor Emily Maitlis took former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to task for his embrace of “alternative facts” and his complete cover for the Trump administration’s culture of non-stop lies.
At the outset of the interview, Maitlis asked Spicer about his defense of Trump’s claim that his inauguration turnout was bigger than Obama’s. “Did you believe what you were saying then, that the physical crowd was bigger than Obama’s, it was the biggest one ever?”
Spicer replied that if he could, he would have a “do over” on that one.
“I think what I was trying to do — and clearly not well — was change the focus from the number of people attending [the inauguration] to focus on the total audience that had watched it, and I thought we were on much safer ground there,” Spicer said.
Maitlis then pointed out that Kellyanne Conway coined the term “alternative facts” when she was backing Spicer up on the inauguration crowd size lie. “How dangerous was that?” Maitlis asked.
After a jumbled response, Spicer said, “We all make mistakes.”
“There were days that were extremely lonely in that job because I screwed up,” Spicer said.
While Maitlis sympathized with that sentiment, she pressed him harder.
“It became a joke. It became something that defined you,” she said. “You joked about it when you presented the Emmy awards. But it wasn’t a joke. It was the start of the most corrosive culture. You played with the truth, you led us down a dangerous path. You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies.”
Spicer tried to shift blame back on the media.
“You act as though everything began and ended with that,” he said, referring to Trump’s claims about crowd size. “You’re taking no accountability for the many false narratives and false stories that the media had perpetrated.”
Later in the interview, Maitlis brought up the infamous Access Hollywood video, where Trump openly brags about sexually assaulting women.
“Did that tell you anything about your man that you didn’t previously know?” she asked.
“Well, I think we’ve all said things in private, which that was, that are inappropriate…”
“Have you said things like that?” Maitlis interrupted.
Watch the full interview below:
Featured image via screen grab