Former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer gave an extended interview to HLN’s S.E. Cupp Thursday evening.
Spicer, who is best known for his combative presence behind the press podium in the early months of the Trump presidency, defended the president but admitted he made “mistakes” during his time in the administration.
During one segment of the hour-long interview, Cupp brought on Van Jones to debate Spicer. Jones briefly served as the green energy czar to the Obama administration before being fired for controversial political activity. Jones began his remarks with a broadside against the Trump administration and Spicer, saying that as a father he was ashamed of the number of lies he saw coming out of the administration.
Jones specifically singled out Spicer, saying:
I want to tell you something personally, you were somebody, who as part of the Republican establishment, came into your job with an incredible amount of esteem and respect. As a parent, one of the scariest things during the early part of the Trump year was to see somebody come out and say something you knew wasn’t true. My children were watching, saying ‘Daddy that’s not true.’
In response, Spicer asked a very simple question:
Did you get offended when the Obama Administration officials went out and blamed Benghazi on a video? Was that equally offensive to you?
Jones deflected saying, “You guys can come out and say ‘Benghazi! Benghazi!”
Spicer responded, “I’m just asking you the same question.”
Jones then said it was a matter of position:
I didn’t have the opportunity that you had. I was in the lowerarchy in the Obama White House. You were in the hierarchy in the Trump White House.
The incident that Spicer is referring to is the Obama administration’s reaction to the terror attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Militant Islamists claimed the lives of four Americans stationed there.
In the fallout of the foreign policy catastrophe, the Obama administration initially moved to place blame for the protest on a YouTube video critical of Islam. It was later revealed that the attacks had nothing to do with the video and more to do with the diplomatic failings of the administration.
Furthermore, when Hillary Clinton’s emails were made public, it became clear that she privately told multiple people closet to her that the Benghazi attack was terrorism and not the result of a video.