'I've made mistakes:' Sean Spicer speaks out on brief WH tenure

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Sean Spicer speaks on brief WH tenure
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer acknowledges that he's made mistakes, but says that for those who want some blanket apology that's not happening.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer acknowledges that he's "made mistakes," but says that for those who "want some blanket apology -- that's not happening."

"I made mistakes," Spicer, who's been out at the White House for less than a month, told ABC News' Paula Faris. "There's no question. I think we all do."

Spicer added that he "tried to own" some of his mistakes, but said that "the personal attacks, questioning my integrity ... you know, what my intentions were, I think, were really over the top."

When asked if he had ever lied to the American people, Spicer responded, "I don't think so."

"I have not knowingly done anything to ... do that, no," he added when pressed harder.

Spicer touched on some of the most notable moments during his short tenure as President Donald Trump's spokesman, including his first appearance in the White House briefing room, when he read a statement to the press about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.

His comments sparked widespread criticism after photos later emerged online that contradicted him.

"I think it might've been better to be a lot more specific with what we were talking about in terms of the universe, not focus so much on photographic evidence, et cetera," Spicer said. "I could've probably had more facts at hand and been more articulate in describing ... the entirety of what that day was about."

Spicer adds that many people viewed the inauguration online versus in person, saying, "There are more social platforms, more online platforms to view things ... than existed eight years prior."

Spicer also acknowledged the controversy that ensued after Trump fired then-FBI director James Comey.

When asked repeatedly if it was his obligation as press secretary to set the record straight regarding contradictory information that emerged following Comey's firing, Spicer said President Trump accomplished that himself.

"He set it straight," Spicer said of Trump. "My job is to help ... give voice to, to what his thinking is when he can't do it himself. In that case, he did it himself."

Spicer opened up about when Trump contradicted his statements by tweeting about a "ban" shortly before Spicer told reporters, "It's not a travel ban."

"I would definitely say that I wish we had been more consistent from the beginning in terms of the terms that we would use and the goals that we were trying to achieve," Spicer said.

When asked about the ongoing investigation into whether there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Spicer said, "I'm not going to discuss ... that issue at all," even as Faris pressed him on it.

"There's an issue of executive privilege. And as long as that's not invoked, I will do everything to further ... to do my part to further ... this investigation coming to a swift conclusion," he added.

Spicer most recently made headlines during a surprise appearance at the 2017 Emmy Awards on Sunday, entering the stage on a mock White House press secretary podium, and poking fun of his infamous presser following Trump's inauguration, saying, "This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys -- period."

Spicer said the president was "very supportive" of his Emmys cameo when they spoke on the phone.

"He thought I did a great job. ... It was very reassuring," Spicer added.

Despite the positive feedback from the president, Spicer acknowledged the backlash his appearance made.

"I feel very good with my image. I'm very happy with myself," he said. "I am able to go out and explain a lot of things now. But I'm not on a tour. I'm out having some fun."

"There are things that I did during my time there that ... I needed to go out and correct. I did that. Where there were mistakes that were made that I got something wrong, I think I've owned that," Spicer said, reflecting on his time in the White House.

"I know that there are some folks that, no matter what we say or do ... some folks in the media that wanted ... think that, you know, everything that we did was wrong and want some blanket apology -- that's not happening," he added.