Politico

Spicer channels ‘SNL’ character: ‘Don’t make me make the podium move’

Written by Lisa

White House press secretary Sean Spicer took a page from the “Saturday Night Live” playbook Friday afternoon, jokingly warning a reporter “don’t make me make the podium move” in response to a question about a post to his social media account earlier in the day.

The reference comes from a pair of “Saturday Night Live” sketches in which Spicer was played by actress Melissa McCarthy, whose belligerent portrayal of the press secretary has won her widespread praise. In McCarthy’s first appearance as Spicer, she picks up the briefing room podium and uses it to badger a persistent reporter into sitting down. In the second, McCarthy drives a podium-on-wheels through a briefing room crowded with members of the press.

On Friday, the real-life Spicer faced questions about a post to Twitter earlier in the day celebrating a jobs report that he characterized as being “great news.” The post, specifically its timing 22 minutes after the report was released, violated an Office of Management and Budget policy prohibiting most members of the executive branch from publicly commenting on the jobs report for the first hour after it is made public.

“What I understand is that that rule was instituted to deal with market fluctuations. I could be wrong but I believe that’s why it was instituted. I think tweeting out ‘great way to start a Friday,’ here are the actual numbers that you all have reported is a bit – I mean, don’t make me make the podium move,” Spicer said, eliciting laughter from the assembled White House press corps. “I mean honest to God, like every reporter here reported out that we had 235,000 jobs, 4.7 [unemployment rate]. There isn’t a TV station that didn’t go live to it. So to tweet out ‘great way to start a Friday,’ I think, yes, the president was excited to see more Americans back to work. I don’t think that’s exactly a market disruption.”

While Spicer has previously said he thinks McCarthy’s impression of him is “funny,” President Donald Trump reportedly was unhappy that his press secretary was portrayed by a woman.

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