Saturday 19 August 2017

Sean Spicer 'hid in darkness, among the bushes of the White House' after Trump fired FBI director

White House spokesman Sean Spicer REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House spokesman Sean Spicer REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

White House press secretary Sean Spicer refused to be filmed, asked for the lights to be turned off and "stood in darkness" as he answered questions from reporters about the sacking of FBI director James Comey.

The Washington Post reports that after news of Comey's firing broke, Sean Spicer huddled with his staff "near a clump of bushes" on White House grounds as he didn't want to pass reporters to get back to his office.

Spicer had apparently wanted to break the news in an emailed statement instead.

He initially refused to do a briefing, returning to his office and locking the door - before later resurfacing as Democrats and Republicans began to criticise and question the firing.

"After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the darkness and among the bushes near these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so," the article said.

He then ordered for the lights to be turned off and stood in darkness between two tall hedges as he answered questions from reporters.

James Comey was fired by US President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Explaining his decision, Trump said: "James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI."

In a letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the FBI.

Comey has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for his role in an investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the closing days of last year’s election - a move which was initially praised by Donald Trump.

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