Trump's Tweets Surprise Incoming Press Secretary
Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer admitted that he does not know what will be released on Twitter prior to the President-elect Donald Trump's social media postings. "He drives the train on this," Spicer says.
Steve Edwards, executive director of the Institute of Politics welcomed Spicer to a panel discussion at the University of Chicago. Spicer was joined on the panel by David Axelrod, director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary to President Barack Obama.
Moments into the event, an audience member who mirrored complaints by outside protestors, was removed for disrupting the event alleging that Spicer was a press secretary to an incoming president who "opposes the media."
“This isn’t normal people,” he shouted as he was removed from the event. “There is an option to stand up!”
Despite the initial interruption, the event continued with a cordial tone throughout the nearly hour and a half event. Topics of discussion among the panel included Trump's campaign efforts, information released by Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton's emails, media bias, and the President elect's use of Twitter.
Spicer declared that Trump's use of Twitter steers media coverage and says that news coverage often lacks substantial value. "It's become a race to be first," he says.
During the conversation, the audience listened intently as Axelrod presented allegations that Trump is known by some as the "Clickbate King." Questions regarding the accuracy of the President elect’s Tweets were also raised.
"He (Trump) has the right to express himself on Twitter," Spicer says.
The panelists also went on to discuss the accuracy of media outlets as well as the intentions of journalists. It is the job of journalists to release correct information, Spicer says.
During the latter part of the evening, a line of people with questions filled the aisle of the room. Questions varied from international relations to the role of the media with the incoming administration.
David Abraham, a participant in the line asked Spicer to explain President-elect Trump's "relationship to the truth" and declared there to be an abundance of inaccuracies that he has released to the public.
"He believes what he says," Spicer says. "My job is to represent his beliefs."