Man yells at Spicer during book signing: ‘I’m not scared to fight you’
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was accused by a man at a book signing on Friday of using a racial slur when the two were in prep school together, after which the man declared he was no longer afraid to “fight” Spicer.
In a video published by NewportRI.com, a man identified as Alex Lombard is seen yelling to Spicer during a book signing in Middletown, R.I., telling the Rhode Island native that they had attended the Portsmouth Abbey School together in the state.
“Sean, I was a day student at [Portsmouth] Abbey, too, with you,” Lombard said.
“Hey,” Spicer appears to respond to Lombard in the video. “Yes, how are you?”
“You don’t remember that you tried to fight me?” continued Lombard, who is African-American. “But you called me a [n-word] first.”
Security personnel are then seen in the video escorting the man out while another person in line calls for him to be arrested.
“I was 14 then. I was a scared kid then, Sean. I’m not scared to fight you now,” Lombard is heard yelling.
Spicer’s reaction was not caught on video, but a publicist for the former White House aide told The Associated Press he was “taken aback” by the “outrageous” accusation.
Lauren McCue, a publicist for Regnery Publishing, said that Spicer “can’t recall any incident” like the one Lombard described.
Hours after the AP report, Spicer’s attorney, Michael Bowe, issued a statement threatening legal action against the news service.
“Today, without conducting the most basic journalistic due diligence, the Associated Press recklessly republished a categorically false accusation about Sean Spicer,” Bowe wrote in a statement obtained by The Hill. “The claim is a lie. Absent an immediate retraction, Mr. Spicer will take legal action Monday.”
Spicer, who left the Trump administration last year after a tumultuous relationship with the White House press corps, is on a national book tour for the release of his book “The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and the President,” detailing his time on the White House communications staff.
The former Trump aide faced another interruption during a book signing in New York City on Wednesday by a protester who called him a “garbage person.”
“Hey Sean, you’re a real piece of garbage and I hope you look around and see all these empty seats,” a man shouted inside the Union Square Barnes & Noble bookstore. “And I hope you realize in even in New York City people will not come and pay to hear you speak.”
President Trump has attempted to boost his former aide’s book, telling his Twitter followers to “go get it!”
“A friend of mine and a man who has truly seen politics and life as few others ever will, Sean Spicer, has written a great new book, ‘The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President.’ It is a story told with both heart and knowledge. Really good, go get it!” Trump wrote.
— Updated 9:35 p.m.