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Monday, January 23, 2017

The softer side of Sean Spicer

The new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer started off with a little teeny weeny bit of anger in his first encounter with fellow journalists over the weekend, but today was a new day and the first day of the "real" work week.

On his first daily presser he actually picked a reporter from Univision--the Spanish language media outlet that had, in the past, been hostile to President Donald Trump as he campaigned, particularly over his stance on immigration. 

The reporter, Janet Rodriguez, was Spicer's third pick, in fact, after having called upon the New York Post and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

FoxNews.com reported that Spicer's decision to not pick the AP and other front-row outlets for the first questions might have been his way of signaling the press that he might be showing less deference to mainstream news outlets in the briefing.

Rodriguez asked Spicer about former President Obama's actions on children of illegal immigrants (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals aka DACA) and what would be done for recipients. She also asked about the current status of the White House's Spanish website--which was taken down on Inauguration Day as part of the transition to a new website. 

The new White House Press Secretary said that the website may take a bit more time. "Trust me," he said, "it's just going to take a little bit more time, but we're working piece by piece to get that done."

He should have added that the Spanish website will be running without a problem a lot faster than the Obamacare website did.

Insofar as DACA is concerned, Spicer made it clear that President Trump's priority for immigration was to deport criminal illegal aliens first.

"First and foremost, the president's been very, very clear that we need to direct agencies to focus on those who are in this country illegally and have a record--a criminal record or pose a threat to the American people," he said. "That's where the priorities are going to be and then we're going to continue to work through the entire number of folks that are here illegally. But right now the clear focus is on that."

Gee, that sounds like a good idea.

This presser by Spicer was a far less angry one than the very first meeting he had with the press. It seemed like he was going for a "do-over."