Wednesday’s White House press briefing dove down the rabbit hole when Press Secretary Sean Spicer got asked if people should be concerned about President Donald Trump’s “covfefe” tweet of the previous night:
“Do you think people should be concerned that the President posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night and that it then stayed up for hours?” a reporter asked Spicer.
The reporter was, of course, referencing Trump’s pre-dawn tweet: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” – which, faster than you can say “Ambien Tweeting” caused “#covfefe” to begin trending worldwide on Twitter.
“Uh, no,” Spicer responded, getting back to the briefing.
“Why did it stay up so long? Is no one watching this?” the reporter persisted.
“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer shot back, tantalizingly.
Laughter erupted in the room, but it is impossible to report here at this time whether Spicer was smiling or actually meant what he said, literally. That’s because the White House decided to hold the press briefings with cameras turned off. News networks played the audio live for viewers – like radio, only with a carousel of Spicer and Trump images to entertain viewers, though we hope the networks get more creative going forward if this audio-only strategy becomes permanent. Maybe Melissa McCarthy can step in – or a cat video.
We can report Spicer’s “covfefe” comment triggered guffawing in the hall, and reporters could be heard shouting out, as he tried to move the talk away from “covfefe”:
“Wait a minute!”
“What does it mean?”
“What is covfefe?”
So far as we could hear, no reporter in the room thought to ask Spicer who are these small group of trusted individuals with whom Trump has shared the meaning of “covfefe.”
Sadly, Spicer declined to elaborate.
Instead he whiled away the time dodging questions as to which way Trump is leaning on the Paris climate accord, who he is consulting before making his promised announcement in re whether he’s pulling the country out of that pact signed by nearly 200 countries.
There was one major development. Asked about a report that former FBI Director James Comey will testify next week before the Senate Intel Committee that Trump pressured him to drop the Michael Flynn investigation, Spicer responded his job is to focus on the President’s agenda and “going forward all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel.”