White House press secretary Sean Spicer reportedly hid behind bushes on the White House grounds for several minutes on Tuesday evening in the wake of President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.
Newsweek reported that Spicer had initially planned to send out an official email statement announcing Comey’s termination, but “as of about 5:40 p.m. EDT Tuesday, the system wasn’t working well. Instead, he went to his doorway and yelled the news to the journalists gathered there.” He then shut his door.
Then all hell broke loose.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) May 9, 2017
Spicer was initially scheduled to talk to reporters about the termination of Comey, but then aides said plans had changed. Minutes later, Spicer appeared on Fox News Channel with Lou Dobbs instead outside of the White House.
Spicer misspoke and stuttered over his words throughout the interview. At one point, he said that the “attorney general” was the one who was terminated before correcting himself.
The Post reports:
After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?”
Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him. For 10 minutes, he responded to a flurry of questions, vacillating between light-hearted asides and clear frustration with getting the same questions over and over again.
Here’s how social media reacted to the news:
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) May 10, 2017
— Jacob Dean (@SchadenJake) May 10, 2017
Today's Sean Spicer press briefing. pic.twitter.com/NLBGQk28QP
— John Cohen (@JohnCohen1) May 10, 2017
Cnn just reported that @seanspicer is literally hiding in the bushes on the south lawn. Grab a life boat, buddy.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) May 10, 2017
Sean Spicer is hiding in bushes from the press pic.twitter.com/UQTlt2Glpu
— Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) May 10, 2017
Footage last night of Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes from the press. pic.twitter.com/FbpbVdrQM9
— Micah Johnson (@Micah_Johnson3) May 10, 2017