Fact: Sean Spicer, though not heavily covered on the site, has one PolitiFact finding of “true.” He has three pants on fire ratings, the most blatant of lies. Percentage-wise, 72 percent of his statements were rated “half true” or untrue.
Alternative Fact: Spicer told Good Morning America that he hasn’t “knowingly” lied to the American people.
“Knowingly,” being the operative word. So, when Spicer told us something we couldn’t believe, or the White House contradicted, or even more simply told us something like Trump’s inauguration was the biggest ever: he didn’t know the truth? (He’s admitted regretting his insistence on this, yet now says he didn’t lie?) This is abdicating responsibility for any and all untruths that he fed the American people from the podium from which we deserve, at least, honesty.
He didn’t have eyes to see the photographs of the dismally sparse inauguration?:
— RESIST?AllDay?️ (@ErinRHazel) September 21, 2017
He doesn’t have ears to listen to the exact words dribbling from the mouth of the current president? He didn’t, at any point in time, fact check anything he was given, or read the reports he was telling us about, or ever once question things that were – on their face – patently false?
That’s what he appears to be saying with the “knowingly” statement.
Sure, there were untruths, it seems to say, but I was an unwitting party to them. Because I was just repeating what I was told. A far cry from, “if I say it, you can believe I vetted it and know I am telling you the truth,” this statement is a refusal to take ownership of the months he spent spewing the administrations spin on “facts.”
If this is the way that Sean Spicer is looking to redeem himself for his belligerent, bellicose mouthing of untruths that were fed to him from the White House, it seems to be a failed idea from its inception. “I was just following orders,” doesn’t hold water from the White House spokesman: there is no Leavenworth for saying “no, I won’t say that – it isn’t true.” There is a pink-slip and pride because you have integrity.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders should take notes: there is no walking away from lying for the Trump administration. This is something that you will wear like a scarlet letter int he future because Trump often lies about things on camera, on film, written or recorded for posterity. If your job is to repeat lies, saying that you never knowingly lied is never going to wash away the lies. And while time heals most wounds to your reputation, this one is going to stay, indelibly.
You can say you never knowingly lied, fine. It means that you may have less legal ownership of the lies that you pushed on America, but it doesn’t change the reality for the people. When the Administration is gaslighting and you are lighting the torches for them, that isn’t going away just because you claim to have been ignorant of what they were being used for.
An apology may have gone a lot further than this flimsy excuse if the goal was to try to repair the damage he has done.
Featured image via screen capture