White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer opened Tuesday’s briefing with a nod to what he hoped would be the last anniversary of Obamacare. He denied that President Donald Trump had issued a threat earlier in the day when he visited House GOP lawmakers to warn a vote against Trumpcare could cost them their seat in 2018. “We’re going to make sure we remember those that stood by us, and stood by their word to voters,” said Spicer. Those who vote against Trumpcare, “I think they’ll pay a price at home,” he said, calling it not a “threat” but a “political reality.”
Spicer’s briefing competed for TV news time with a confirmation hearing for Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch. Spicer was asked to reconcile Trump’s promise to appoint an anti-abortion judge to the top court with Gorsuch’s testimony before the briefing that Trump had not asked his position on Roe v. Wade when Trump interviewed Gorsuch for the post — which the nominee said was their first meeting. Had Trump asked him that question, Gorsuch said, dramatically, he would have walked from the room.
“I think the President’s comment still speaks for itself,” Spicer responded, adding he did not intend to take that bait during Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing. “But I appreciate the effort.”