Donald Trump is “very pleased” with the performance of his media team and is looking forward to push his agenda, the White House said today, a day after the US president’s communications director Michael Dubke resigned. “The president is very pleased with his team, and he has a robust agenda, as I’ve just outlined, that he looks forward to working with Congress to get done to achieve results for the American people,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.
He was responding to reports that Trump is looking for a major shakeup in his communication team as part of which Dubke resigned. “Mike tendered his resignation just before the president’s historic international trip and offered to remain onboard until a transition is concluded,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said.
“Mike will assist with the transition and be a strong advocate for the president and the president’s policies moving forward,” Priebus said. Spicer refuted reports that Dubke’s resignation was part of Trump’s efforts to reorganise his media team.
“I think the president is frustrated…to see stories coming out that are patently false, to see narratives that are wrong, to see fake news. When you see stories get perpetrated that are absolutely false, that are not based on facts, that is troubling. And he’s rightly concerned,” Spicer said. Immediately thereafter, reporters asked Spicer to give specific example of “fake news”.
To that Spicer replied: “On 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.”
“That’s the kind of thing that the BBC and, ultimately, a reporter who’s now joining The New York Times push out and perpetuate with no apology,” Spicer said as he pointed out The New York Times reporter Peter Baker.
CNN’s correspondent Him Acosta said reporters make mistake, while Baker accused Spicer of blowing the incident out of proportion. “Your trip was all over the front page. You’re making something out of one tweet instead of the vast majority of coverage,” Baker said.
Spicer responded by saying that instances “like that” are frustrating. “The media get to decide what is big and what is not but that a lot of things have been pushed out based on unnamed unaccountable sources that is very troubling.” The White House spokesperson then abruptly ended the briefing, which lasted for about 30 minutes.