White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Americans can believe what President Trump says — unless he’s joking.
At Monday’s White House briefing, NBC’s Peter Alexander asked whether Americans “can trust it to be real” when the president comments on something.
“If he’s not joking, of course,” Spicer replied. “Every time that he speaks authoritatively, he’s speaking as president of United States.”
When Alexander followed up to ask if Trump still believes that 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election, Spicer confirmed that the president still believes that to be true.
The back-and-forth was prompted by some of Trump’s recent comments, including a recent statement in which he said the government's monthly jobs reports “may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”
Alexander also asked if Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election are “phony or real.”
Spicer sought to clarify Trump’s use of the word “wiretap,” arguing that the president was speaking in broad terms about surveillance.
“He doesn’t really believe that President Obama tapped his phone personally, but I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election,” Spicer said. “That is a widely reported activity that occurred back then.
"The president used the word 'wiretap' in quotes to mean broad surveillance and other activities during that.”