WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he thinks “some media outlets” are attempting to defend Barack Obama’s administration by downplaying the allegations against his national security adviser.
Susan Rice is accused of requesting the unmasking of Trump transition officials who were caught up in the surveillance of foreign officials.
“I know that she’s supposed to make comments to a host in a few minutes to minimize this, but it is interesting because she was the one who went out and said she quote ‘had nothing to do with this’ on a program a few weeks ago and now…” Spicer said Tuesday when asked if the White House agrees with Sen. Rand Paul that Rice should testify.
“I think it’s not for me to decide who should testify or how they should do it, but I do think that there is a sharp contrast between a few weeks ago when she was very public in saying she ‘didn’t have any clue what Chairman Nunes was talking about’ and yet now we are finding out that she’s trying to figure out some friendly way of discussing this.”
“Yesterday it was an opportunity, from my understanding, for several people to reach out [on this], and I didn’t hear anything except one network described it as ‘a person close to her,’ which I think is rather interesting. You would assume that if you stood by the comments that you made several weeks ago that you wouldn’t need someone close to you to defend it.”
When asked about CNN hosts like Don Lemon referring to the Rice allegations as “a diversion,” Spicer said, “I’ll let CNN speak for themselves.”
“I get that at some point they have invested angle and narrative this, and again I’m not going to go into every turn and twist about this, but I think that as I noted yesterday, the more we find out about this, the more we learn that there was clearly something there,” he said. “I think it’s interesting that the default from at least some media outlets seems to be to rush to the defense of the Obama administration. There is an immediate attempt to defend actions like that on one side of the aisle, and an immediate rush to judgement on the other.”
Spicer’s comments were made at the same time Andrea Mitchell interviewed Rice on MSNBC Tuesday. In that interview, Rice said, “I leaked nothing to nobody. I never had and never would.”