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- ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl published a scathing review of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s new book “The Briefing” in the Wall Street Journal.
- “Mr. Spicer’s book is much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong,” Karl wrote.
- Spicer served a tumultuous and controversial term as White House press secretary from January to July 2017.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s new memoir recounting his tenure in the White House received a blisteringly negative review from ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Spicer’s book, titled, “The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President” was published this week. During his six months as press secretary, Spicer made multiple false or misleading public statements and had a contentious relationship with the press corps, which was frequently a subject of mockery on “Saturday Night Live.”
“And there began Mr. Spicer’s tenure as one of the most widely scorned press secretaries in history: a briefing … during which he scolded the press corps, spat out false statements and left the podium without taking questions,” Karl wrote about the now-infamous briefing in which Spicer lied about the crowd size at President Donald Trump’s inauguration, statements White House adviser Kellyanne Conway later termed “alternative facts.”
“Mr. Spicer’s book is much like his tenure as press secretary: short, littered with inaccuracies and offering up one consistent theme: Mr. Trump can do no wrong,” Karl continued.
Karl then went out to point out some embarrassing oversights in Spicer’s book, writing, “Mr. Spicer has not been well served by the book’s fact checkers and copy editors.”
According to Karl, Spicer referred to the author of the dossier on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia as Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican Party, instead of its actual author, British ex-spy Christopher Steele.
Spicer also referenced a supposed instance of former President Barack Obama being asked a question during a White House press briefing in 1999, 10 years before he became president, and called his former boss Rep. Mark Foley of Florida “good to staff and fun to be around,” while failing to mention that Foley later resigned in disgrace after he was found to have been sexting young male congressional pages.
Karl also criticized Spicer for, in his view, wrongly continuing to “lash out” at the media for covering the White House, and blaming Twitter for political polarization without acknowledging any of Trump’s or the White House’s missteps.
“In praising the president, Mr. Spicer deploys an army of metaphors,” Karl wrote. “At various points, he describes Mr. Trump as a rock star, an inflatable ball in a swimming pool (he pops up whenever someone tries to take him down), the Energizer Bunny and, finally, a unicorn on a high wire. “
To further his point, Karl then cited an excerpt from the book, which read, “[Trump’s] high-wire act is one that few could ever follow. … He is a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow.”