White House press secretary Sean Spicer is shrugging off his encounter with a woman who confronted him in an Apple Store over the weekend — saying he doesn’t mind fielding critical questions from the public, even when they’re sprung on him in a checkout line.
“I interact with individuals all day long,” Spicer said at his daily press briefing on Monday. “Ninety-nine percent of them are pleasant, even with people who may not agree with our philosophy, our 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.”
Shree Chauhan approached Spicer in the Washington store Saturday afternoon and began filming him as she fired off a series of critical questions at the top White House spokesman.
“How does it feel to work for a fascist?” Chauhan asked. “How do you feel about destroying the country?”
“You work for a fascist,” Chauhan continued. “Do you feel good about lying to the American people?”
Spicer thanked her for her questions, saying: “Such a great country that allows you to be here.”
— Shree ✊????❤️???????? (@shreec) March 11, 2017
Chauhan, a U.S. citizen born to immigrant parents of Indian descent, later told Time magazine she felt threatened by Spicer.
“When I played it back and I realized it, I felt fear,” she said. “Think about his level of power and his proximity to the president of the United States. To say that to my face with a smile, it’s really something to behold.”
The video clip went viral after Chauhan livestreamed it on Twitter, with many viewers critical of her for accosting Spicer without warning.
Chauhan, though, was unapologetic for her ambush-style interview.
“I’m not sorry,” she said. “What I did is like a blip compared to what this admiration is doing and what Mr. Spicer is complicit in doing, which is undermining this country’s Constitution and our democratic values.”
It is amazing how rude much of the media is to my very hard working representatives. Be nice, you will do much better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2017
Earlier in the briefing, Spicer was also asked if he agreed with President Trump’s assessment that much of the media is being “rude” to his staffers. Trump made the quip on Twitter Monday morning, apparently responding to a round of cable news interviews by his top surrogates.
“I have been asked for my personal opinion several times — that’s not my job,” Spicer said. “I don’t get up here to speak for myself. I speak for the president.”
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