Politico

Highlights: Spicer returns to White House podium for off-camera press briefing

Written by Lisa

White House press secretary Sean Spicer returned to the podium to brief reporters on Monday, but the briefing remained off camera and out of the public eye.

The White House has not held a televised briefing since June 29. It was Spicer’s first time addressing reporters in the briefing room since June 26.

Here are the key moments from his return to the podium, which lasted about 30 minutes.

Spicer said he wouldn’t go into detail on Donald Trump Jr.’s decision to attend a meeting with a Russian lawyer in hopes of collecting opposition research about Hillary Clinton.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of this,” Spicer said, but went on to defend Trump Jr. for attending the meeting. He referred further questions to outside counsel.

He said President Trump has confidence in his counsel, Mark Kasowitz, after it was revealed that Kasowitz sent profanity-laced emails to someone who had suggested he resign.

Spicer noted that Kasowitz had apologized.

Trump spent more time on health care this weekend than on promoting a golf tournament, Spicer said after a reporter noted that the president tweeted six times about the U.S. Women’s Open that was held at one of his properties.

“Sending off a tweet takes 5-10 seconds,” Spicer said.

“I just told you that he’s been extremely engaged in talking to different senators,” Spicer said. “We continue to do what we have to do and we’ll make it work.”

Regarding reports Trump asked British Prime Minister Theresa May to help boost his popularity there, Spicer demurred.

“I believe that I’m not going to comment on rumored leaked conversations,” Spicer said. He added Trump looks forward to visiting the UK.

He would not say whether the United States will re-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. He said an announcement will come shortly from the State Department but reiterated Trump’s opposition to the deal.

Trump’s Voter Integrity Commission only wants public information from states, Spicer said. He said there had been a “miscommunication” regarding the group’s efforts.

The commission is slated to hold its first meeting on Wednesday.

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