press secretary

Terrific (On the Rocks)

#SomethingTerrific | #WhatTheyVotedFor

President Donald Trump, joined by HHS Secretary Tom Price (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (right) explains his intention to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, 24 March 2017, at the White House, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by The Washington Post)

Robert Pear runs for the New York Times under the headline, “Pushing for Vote on Health Care Bill, Trump Seems Unclear on Its Details”. And the detail there, in turn:

After two false starts on President Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration officials are pressing the House to vote on a revised version of the Republican repeal bill this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, administration officials said.

And Mr. Trump insisted that the Republican health legislation would not allow discrimination against people with pre-existing medical conditions, an assertion contradicted by numerous health policy experts as well as the American Medical Association.

“Pre-existing conditions are in the bill,” the president said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.’”

Steve Benen adds, for msnbc:

When Dickerson pressed Trump on whether he’s prepared to “guarantee” protections to those with pre-existing conditions, the president replied, “We actually have – we actually have a clause that guarantees.”

There is no such clause. The Republican bill guts benefits for consumers with pre-existing conditions, clearing the way for states to do the exact opposite of what Trump said yesterday. (GOP leaders have been reduced to telling worried lawmakers that most states won’t take advantage of the option, but under the Republican blueprint, the financial pressure on states to roll back protections like these would be significant.)

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A Failure to Grasp (Strategically Tactical)

#antiMuslim | #WhatTheyVotedFor

White House press secretary Sean Spicer delivers his first statement in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, 2017. (Shawn Thew/EPA)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer:

Q Southern Poverty Law Center said that the number of anti-Muslim groups in the U.S. has tripled between 2015 and 2016, during the time of the campaign. Is this message within the administration―anti-Semitism is not allowed, xenophobia is not allowed―anti-Muslim sentiment within the administration, has the President been forceful about that particular issue?

MR. SPICER: I think that the President, in terms of his desire to combat radical Islamic terrorism, he understands that people who want to express a peaceful position have every right in our Constitution. But if you come here or want to express views that seek to do our country or our people harm, he is going to fight it aggressively, whether it’s domestic acts that are going on here or attempts through people abroad to come into this country. So there’s a big difference between preventing attacks and making sure that we keep this country safe so that there is no loss of life in allowing people to express themselves in accordance with our First Amendment. Those are two very, very different, different, different things.

The only caveat, of course, is that this is not an accident.

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Image note: White House press secretary Sean Spicer delivers his first statement in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, 2017. (Shawn Thew/EPA)

Spicer, Sean. “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 2/21/2017, #13”. The White House Office of the Press Secretary. 21 February 2017.

#SpiceWatch

#trumpswindle | #SpiceWatch

White House press secretary Sean Spicer delivers his first statement in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, 2017. (Shawn Thew/EPA)

Isn’t the rule of thumb something like even though the report is shite―

Carl Higbie has interviewed for the position of White House press secretary, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the matter.

“Well, I can say that I’ve offered my services,” Higbie confirms for Washingtonian when reached by phone. “I haven’t heard back from the administration yet. I’m honored to be even considered for this.” Higbie says he has spoken with “a number of people” in interview rounds for the post.

Higbie interviewed for the position on Thursday, according to the sources. Higbie declined to confirm this. On Twitter Friday night after this story was originally published, Higbie said he has had no formal interviews.

(Plott)

―the #SpiceWatch is officially afoot?

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#DimensionSteve

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Donald Trump awaits inauguration, 20 January 2017, at the White House, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A day in the life―a.k.a., #DimensionTrump―quotably courtesy Steve Benen of msnbc:

#AlternativeFacts: “If only that made sense, it might be easier to take the White House press secretary seriously.”

#Priorities: “It’s worth pausing to appreciate the fact that Trump can apparently be baited into doing almost anything.”

#Spicy: “I have no idea if Spicer was lying or simply ignorant, but either, his defense is completely at odds with the facts.”

#Ironicish: “Given the circumstances, it seems the obvious Democratic response is simple: They should promise to be every bit as constructive and cooperative as McConnell was when there was a member of the opposing party in the White House.”

#Prerogative: “As a rule, people who are eager to dismiss specific, quantifiable economic measurements tend to believe the ‘stats’ will be unflattering for them.”

#AlternativeFactsRedux: “Smith’s bizarre speech from the floor of the House serves as a reminder: for much of the country, the fact that Trump has been caught telling ridiculous lies isn’t a fact at all.”

#AlternativeFactsReduxSequel: “Maybe everything will be fine.”

#AnotherBrickInTheWall: “Or put another way, the president now plans to have a plan to someday have a wall that Mexico will someday pay for.”

#WhatTheyVotedFor: “I remember when Trump ran against Goldman Sachs”.

It is possible to let the game show host take up too much of one’s time, except it’s President Trump, these days, so … yeah, y’know … make the adjustment, get used to it, whatever. Or perhaps it’s worth taking a moment to recall, if we can, the number of unbelievable escalations we witnessed during the Obama presidency. That is to say, if Republicans were willing to take it that far over the last eight years, maybe we should consider ourselves lucky if these are the days for the next four.

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Image note: Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Some Manner of Confidence

U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and iconic closet homosexual Vladimir Putin (background).

The White House seems to be enjoying itself:

President Obama’s top spokesman took repeated jabs at Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday, suggesting he is “desperate” to sit down with the president, and even criticizing his posture.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed Putin’s repeated requests for a meeting with Obama are a sign he is hungry to use it as a way to enhance his stature on the world stage.

“I think some might conclude that that means the Russians are … more desperate,” Earnest told reporters.

“They are quite interested in having a conversation with President Obama,” he added. “After some careful consideration on our end, the president did make a decision that it was worth it at this point to engage with President Putin in a face-to-face-meeting to see if the United States’ interests could be advanced.”

(Fabian)

That’s our Puti-Toots.

And something goes here about the “‘twilight’ of a presidency”.

Yeah, they’re having fun.

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Fabian, Jordan. “White House calls Putin ‘desperate,’ criticizes his posture”. The Hill. 24 September 2015.

Robinson, Eugene. “Obama has plenty of reasons to smile”. The Washington Post. 7 September 2015.

The Red Balloon

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), ca. 2015, in Associated Press photo.

This is a question:

As recently as Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) sounded very much like he was moving towards the 2016 presidential race. Just one day later, however, Politico reported that the Republican governor had decided to bow out ....

.... So, that settles that? Oddly enough, no. Late last night, the MLive Media Group that covers Michigan news confirmed with the governor’s spokesperson that Snyder “has not made any decisions” about the presidential race, pushing back against the Politico report, which cited unnamed sources.

The governor’s press secretary specifically said that when it comes to Snyder’s possible national plans, nothing has changed. “On 2016, he’s watching the presidential race closely and hoping a common sense problem-solver emerges,” press secretary Sara Wurfel said. “He has not made any decisions about entering the field at this time.”

What’s left is a confusing picture.

(Benen)

Why doesn’t everyone just say, “trial balloon”, and get on with it?

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