White House press secretary Sean Spicer told MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren this morning that he “let the president down” with his headline-making Holocaust blunder this week. The spokesman said his comment – that Hitler “didn’t sink” to using chemical weapons – was “inexcusable” and “reprehensible.”
The comments came as part of a pre-planned interview with Van Susteren at a Newseum symposium entitled “The President and the Press.” The questions drifted to more general topics – the spokesman’s relations with the White House press, the use of anonymous sources – but Van Susteren began the talk by asking about Spicer’s own controversy.
Spicer, who had publicly apologized yesterday to various news outlets, said he was disappointed both personally and professionally by his gaffe, and that the “inexcusable” mistake was “compounded” by the fact that it came during both Passover and Holy Week.
As for the professional side, Spicer said he “let the president down.”
“The president had an unbelievable couple of weeks,” Spicer said, pointing to the “decisive action” in Syria and what he described as successful meetings on China. Donald Trump, he said, has “had an unbelievably successful couple of weeks, and when you’re distracting from that message of accomplishment, on a professional level I’ve let the president down.”
Spicer said he hasn’t spoken to the president “this morning,” and declined to discuss private conversations he’s had with other White House officials on the subject.