‘So, you’re calling him a liar?’ Spicer battles it out with press over refugee pause

“You’re calling him a liar?”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had to repeatedly correct reporters who insisted upon calling President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration a “travel ban.”

Clip via Fox News Channel

Although Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called the order “a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system,” NBC News’ Kristen Welker observed at Tuesday’s press briefing that the president used the word “ban” in one of his tweets.

“It can’t be a ban if you’re letting a million people in,” he told Walker. The president “has been very clear. It is extreme vetting.”

As Spicer called on questions from another reporter, Walker continued questioning the administration’s last-minute rollout of the order without prior notice, which caused some confusion in its application.

“We could have either telegraphed this days in advance in which people could have gotten on planes and come over here, which would have undermined the exact nature of which this sought to prevent, or we could have done it in a way which inconvenienced some folks for a little while –”

At this point Walker interrupted, and Spicer shot back that her network was was to blame for some of the confusion and had “just hours before” claimed that Kelly hadn’t been briefed on the order in advance when he said that he had.

When Walker replied that her source was The New York Times, Spicer shot back, “OK, I apologize that NBC News’ reporting is based on the New York Times’ false reporting.”

That brought Times reporter Glenn Thrush into the fray, who stood by the story that Kelly hadn’t been briefed on the order.

“How can it be accurate reporting, Glenn … so the secretary of Homeland Security just stood up, and so you’re calling him a liar?”

Thrush questioned Trump’s firing of the acting attorney general for her refusal to defend the president’s executive order.

Trump had no choice, Spicer said, given that the order had received the OK from the Justice Department beforehand.

Folks on social media weren’t surprised about the administration’s war with the press.

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