WASHINGTON — Sean Spicer briefed reporters at the White House Monday, where he was peppered with questions on the president’s comment that he would be “honored” to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and why he invited the highly controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House.
On meeting with Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances
“We have to see their provocative behavior ratcheted down immediately,” Spicer said. “If the circumstances present themselves, we would be prepared to do that, but they are not at this time. Those circumstances do not exist now.”
When asked about Trump’s comment that he would he “honored” to meet with him, Spicer said, “He’s still a head of state. There’s still a diplomatic piece of this.”
On the proposed budget deal that congressional leaders reached Sunday night
It includes funding for Planned Parenthood and restricts any funding for border security from going to the wall.
“I think the president got a lot out of this bill, most specifically the $21 million to rebuild the military,” Spicer said. “I think people have to keep in context — we are talking about 2017 funding. There’s no Obamacare bailout, there’s a lot in this bill that I think of the priorities that he put forward.”
On meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
“I think it is an opportunity for us to work with countries in that region that can help play a role in isolating North Korea. The safety of people in our region is the number one priority.”
When asked if the president was aware of Duterte’s clouded past, Spicer said, “The president gets fully briefed on leaders he is speaking to.”
On the revised health care bill vote will happen this week
“I think the president has made it clear he is not instituting a timeline. I would never want to get in front of the speaker.”
On rumors Sebastian Gorka is leaving the White House
“There is no personnel announcement at the time. I have no belief he is currently leaving the White House.”