“Don’t make me make the podium move!” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer jokingly warned reporters during today’s televised press briefing when asked whether President Donald’s morning tweet boasting of new jobs numbers violated federal regs.
It played extremely well with the White House press corps.
Spicer’s joke was a sly reference to Melissa McCarthy’s Saturday Night Live appearances last month, playing Spicer at the White House Press Briefing. In her second appearance as Spicer on the NBC late-night show, McCarthy had first taken a leaf-blower to Cecily Strong’s questioning reporter, then rode Spicer’s podium, Segway-style, into the gaggle of press, sending them scrambling in a panic to get out of the podium’s path. [You can watch below].
Spicer reportedly wanted to make a joke about McCarthy’s impression of him at a briefing when she made her debut as Spicer in early February, but it had been ixnayed by OTUSPay.
Today, Spicer finally got his moment, when a reporter noted “Obviously you guys were excited by the jobs report, but maybe a little too excited,” noting President Donald Trump had tweeted within an hour of the jobs data coming out, in violation of a federal rule that prohibits the White House from commenting on the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report within an hour of its release.
“I’m wondering if there is counseling in the president’s future” the reporter asked though, in his defense, the reporter chuckled, while asking, at the improbability.
“What I understand is that rule was instituted to deal with market fluctuations,” Spicer said, adding, “I could be wrong.”
Spicer called “a bit silly” the suggestion there was anything improper in Trump tweeting “Great way to start a Friday” along with the “actual numbers that you all have reported.”
“I mean, don’t make me make the podium move!” Spicer warned.
Big laughter in the briefing room.
“Honest to god, every reporter here reported out that we had 235 thousand jobs, 4.7 % [unemployment rate]. There isn’t a TV station that didn’t go live to it,” Spicer continued, having won over the room. “So, to tweet out ‘Great way to start a Friday’? I think, yes, the president was excited to see more Americans go back to work. I don’t think that’s exactly a market disruption.”
One reporter noted Trump previously dismissed as horseradish Obama-era Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job reports. Spicer was prepped for that question:
“I talked to the President prior to this,” Spicer said. “And he said to quote him very clearly: ‘They may have been phony in past, but it’s very real now.'”
And, in case you missed it, here is McCarthy and her portable podium: