In his first TV interview since his appearance at the Emmys, Sean Spicer said he never "knowingly" lied to the American people, eliciting almost immediate backlash from Twitter users. In a Good Morning America interview broadcast on Thursday, the former White House press secretary also mentioned that Donald Trump never asked him to lie.
Earlier this year, Spicer was widely criticized for saying that Trump's inauguration drew "the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe." Photos from Barack Obama's inauguration were consequently recirculated, proving that Spicer had been wrong. Rather than accept this, however, Spicer instead dismissed "these attempts to lessen the enthusiasm for the inauguration" as "shameful."
But since leaving his position at the White House, Spicer seems to have found some humor in what has become one of his most notorious moments as press secretary. In fact, when he made a surprise appearance at the Emmys on Sunday, he appeared to make fun of himself.
"This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys — period," Spicer told the audience.
Spicer also told The New York Times on Monday that he "absolutely" regrets criticizing reporters for publishing accurate reports about Obama's inauguration attracting bigger crowds. Despite all of his, however, Spicer still does not accept that he ever lied to the American people.
"I made mistakes, there's no question," Spicer told GMA host Paula Faris. "Some of them I tried to own very publicly."
But after acknowledging that he made mistakes, Spicer went on to once again defend how he handled the infamous inauguration crowd debacle.
"It might have been better to be much more specific with what we were talking about in terms of the universe, not focus so much on photographic evidence," Spicer told Faris. "I think I could have probably had more facts at hand and been more articulate in describing the entirety of what that day was about."
Faris then questioned Spicer about the travel ban, asking him why he failed to describe it as a ban even after Trump had done so.
"I would definitely say that I wish we had been more consistent from the beginning in terms of the terms we would use and the goals we were trying to achieve," Spicer said, once again declining to say that he had lied in any capacity.
Spicer's renewed attempts to defend his comments as press secretary did not go unnoticed on Twitter. In fact, many Twitter users slammed Spicer for saying that he did not "knowingly" lie.
Other users pointed out that by refusing to admit that he had been lying, Spicer has now been caught lying about lying.
Still others wondered how Spicer's apparent attempts at redemption — from joking about past gaffes to giving interviews about his regrets — were reconcilable with his failure to admit that he had lied.
Then, of course, there was this tweet, which actually contained a useful list of all the times Spicer ever lied:
On top of all this, Spicer criticized the "personal attacks" against him, as well as people who were "questioning [his] integrity."
The GMA interview broadcast was not the only thing Spicer was criticized for, either. Also on Thursday morning, Axios' Mike Allen revealed that he had texted Spicer for comment on a story about note-taking during meetings. In response, Spicer threatened to report Allen to the "appropriate authorities" if he sent him "unsolicited" emails or texts again. Spicer also sent Allen an email threatening to "address his harassment" a short time later. This took Allen by surprise, because he has known Spicer and his wife for over a decade and because he was just doing his job, and the story quickly went viral on Twitter.
Between the poorly received GMA interview and his exchange with Allen, it doesn't seem as though Spicer's so-called "redemption tour" is going quite as well as he might have hoped.