White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducted a fairly routine press briefing on Tuesday. However, some reports are saying he wanted to show defiance to reporters.
In fact, an inside Republican source told Politico that "Spicer wanted to do it, and Trump was good with it. I'm not sure how often he'll do it from now on, but today was to give the middle finger to you guys."
News outlets had varying perspectives on the briefing, with Politico calling it "combative."
Meanwhile, CNN's Chris Cillizza described it, in part, as "an optimism-laden, everything-is-awesome romp..."
The Washington Post agreed with this perspective reporting that Spicer began the news conference with "an epic retelling of the president's multi-stop foreign trip. Adjectives used by Spicer included 'extraordinary,' 'unprecedented' and 'historic.'"
The briefing's tone changed during the question-and-answer period when Spicer was asked about a number of issues including allegations surrounding White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and President Trump's tweets on health care and Senate rules.
Spicer provided little information in his responses to many of these questions before getting into a contentious exchange concerning the Trump's administration frustration with "fake news."
When CNN's Jim Acosta asked for an example of a fake news story, Spicer responded, "Sure. Friday, the President was having a great discussion at the G7, and someone from the BBC — and ultimately an incoming reporter from The New York Times — retweeted that the President was being rude by disrespecting the Italian Prime Minister, when, in fact, you all, in every one of the meetings that we sit in, watch the President with that one earpiece that's been used by other Presidents."
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His response prompted a number of reactions like, "Can't reporters make mistakes? " and "Sean, none of that was in the newspaper. None of that was on the front page. Your trip was all over the front page. You're making something out of one tweet instead of the vast majority of the coverage."
Spicer stayed firm on his position, saying, "...you guys defend your mistakes like that."
Despite his appearance on Tuesday, Spicer's future role in the administration continues to be questioned as there have been reports that he'll be doing fewer briefings in the days ahead.