A woman named Shree Chauhan has posted video of herself pointedly questioning White House press secretary Sean Spicer while he was out shopping at a local Apple store. Chauhan, an Indian-American who was born in New York, posted the video on Saturday.
In it, Chauhan asks Spicer how it feels to work for "a fascist" and "what can you tell me about Russia." Spicer smiles through the encounter and repeatedly says "thank you" to Chauhan. At one point, he tells her, "such a great country that allows you to be here."
Chauhan says in a Medium blog post that Spicer's "great country" comment was racially motivated. "That is racism and it is an implied threat," she writes. "Think about the sheer audacity of Mr. Spicer to say that to my face with a smile, knowing that he that he is being recorded on video and the position of power he holds in our government."
She adds in her post, "I have spent enough time with online to encounter rabid Trump supporters. Many of these folks see my brown skin and question my citizenship. They question whether I am here legally. They tell me to leave the country. They have told me to go back to where I came from. To which my snarky reply is often, 'Go back where? New York?'"
Asked about the encounter during his daily White House press briefing on Monday, Spicer said he did not mind being asked pointed questions in public, but he hopes people will keep things civil.
"I interact with individuals all day along," he said. "Ninety-nine percent of them are pleasant even with people who may not agree with our philosophy or programs or whatever. But it's a free country and the beauty of it is that people can act how they want, no matter how that's interpreted. And as long as they stay on the right side of the First Amendment, we're good."
Watch the original encounter:
Asking @PressSec questions in Apple Store since he doesn't like the press. https://t.co/l493z2gG4x
- Shree ✊--❤️---- (@shreec) March 11, 2017