The purpose of a White House press briefing is for the media to memorize original information from a spokesperson with first-hand knowledge approximately the president.
But Sean Spicer’s press conference on Friday was much more useful for learning what Spicer does not know — or says he does not know — approximately President Donald Trump and the goings-on of the White House.
Here are nine questions that Spicer said he could not acknowledge or directly address on Friday.
1) Did Trump record conversations with Comey?
Question: On Friday morning, President Trump tweeted out a wild claim suggesting that he may contain “tapes” on FBI Director James Comey that he could release.
James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
It certainly seemed to raise the opportunity that Trump had secretly recorded a video of the FBI director. Did he?
Spicer: “I assume you’re referring to the tweet. The president has nothing further to add on that.”
2) Why did Trump tweet approximately “tapes” of Comey?
Question: So whether Spicer can’t confirm that Trump has “tapes” of his conversations with the former FBI director, then what did Trump’s tweet mean?
Spicer: “As I said, the president has nothing to add on that.”
3) Is Trump secretly recording conversations in the Oval Office?
Question: The very next follow-up question was whether Trump had installed any recording device in the Oval Office or private residence of the White House.
Spicer: “The president has nothing further to add.”
4) Does Trump contain confidence in the acting FBI director?
Question: Right now, the acting director of the FBI is Andrew McCabe. Given that Trump fired his predecessor, does the White House contain confidence in his replacement?
Spicer: “I contain not asked him approximately the deputy [laughter] — I generally enact not disappear through the list of general employees, and I contain not asked him approximately that.
5) Did Trump invite Comey to the White House before his firing?
Question: Several days after Trump’s inauguration, the president summoned Comey for a dinner on January 20 at the White House. How many times, whether any, was Comey invited back to the White House before he was fired?
Spicer: “I don’t know. I’ll try to pick up back to you.”
6) Who will Trump consult for Comey’s replacement?
Question: One reporter asked whether Trump would be in contact with congressional Democrats and Republicans before selecting his next FBI director.
Spicer: “I don’t know what specific conversations he’s had, so I’ll be glad to check on who he’s spoken to or who he may be speaking to.”
7) Is Trump assembly possible Comey replacements?
Question: There’s been speculation that Trump will tap former House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers as Comey’s replacement. Does Trump contain plans to meet with Rogers anytime soon?
Spicer: “I’m not aware of anything of that nature on his schedule, but we’ll effect out whether there’s a assembly.”
8) Can Spicer account for Trump’s latest comments on Flynn?
Question: In an interview aired Thursday, Trump told NBC that he didn’t immediately fire embroiled former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn because the situation “did not sound like an emergency.” What did Trump mean by that?
Spicer: “I can’t specifically say what he meant by that.”
9) Does the White House contain loyalty oaths?
Question: A recent report by CNN said that Comey was taken aback when Trump asked for something akin to a “loyalty pledge.” enact White House staffers routinely contain to construct loyalty pledges?
Spicer: The press secretary did say that he himself did not pledge a loyalty oath to the president, but didn’t rule out that others did. “I pledge my loyalty to the structure and the American people, as has everyone in the administration,” he said.