Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 19, 2016 2:41pm-3:35pm EST
you can listen to it on the free c-span radio app. republican national committee communications director sean pfizer spoke with politico after coverage of the presidential campaign and president-elect donald trump relationship with the news media. this is about an hour. >> it's great to be here today. good evening everybody, welcome to please and cocktails, i'm jay sherman here with anna palmer. we'd like you all to be joining us here and those sitting in on c-span and on our live stream, could you believe it, here we are. >> tonight's program we welcome sean spicer, chief strategist and communications director for the rnc. you can applaud.
we're very excited. hopefully he's had a fascinating career in washington. he has a lot to talk about the white house and the election, he's in the middle of all the big decisions that donald trump is making. before we get to the program i'd like to ask a special thank you to bank of america for their tremendous import of this series for many years . >> absolutely, bank of america has been a true partner, making conversations like this available for all of us to participate in so we thank them for their ongoing support and now, without further delay, please join us in welcoming sean spicer. [applause] piece bearing gifts, apparently. if you so much for doing this . >> thank you sean. sean, i guess you have some ... >> would you like to start? >> tonight is too important
an event. it's seven days from infested us. so we can error some grievances tonight but more importantly it's your birthday. >> the big 31. >> i thought you were age 23. >> i wanted to make sure you were appropriately, that i gave you stuff that politico could use so we started off with a republican bag. so that every day you are reminded of who's in charge. i wanted you and anna to have something to drink in . >> i like it. >> very nice. >> it would replace the politico one. we've got a couple stickers for you. >> perfect. >> something for your car. and then this is a very nice
time that you can wear as you roam around the capital. >> it is another republican tie>> there's a theme here . >> put all that stuff in here . >> i don't really want to wear a tie right now. >> fair enough, this is the last one and it's something very special and i wish i had brought an extra but i'm sure i can getone. this i hope you enjoy and you can definitely , you must wear it. >> it says make politico great again? >> for the record, i believe politico is great again but because sean is here i will offer it up. >> before we get started ... >> if you haven't noticed from the gifts, and, why don't you take it away? >> as a reminder to our audience online, if you'd
like to see the interactive conversation, jake has the ipad so if you have a comment about how we are doing over these 45 minutes, would you please to us and we will track them here on stage so we will get started with that opening. it's hard to follow. >> that is a tough act to follow. >> i think the elephant in the room is the worst kept secret in town. that you've had some modest disagreements with politico, to say the least so we wanted to clear the air at the beginning of the conversation with a new administration, were about to embark on a new year. >> i'm there. and i think in all seriousness, i think and i speak on behalf of the president-elect when i say that we understand and
respect the role the press plays in a democracy, it is healthy and important but it's a two-way street and i don't think everyone in the media is bad. i don't think every reporter is bad but i think that in the case of, and i welcome the elevation at here at politico, i think she is working hard to try to write a lot of wrongs and i give her some props for that and i think time will tell that i have a problem with how politico is engaged in covering politics, especially our side. i think it is to happy, it is click debate in many cases and it's devoid of facts. and i think you look for example at just today ... >> the final fact. >> this is every story politico is on the gop this year. this is the tweet, politico: in theory, 37 electors good denied trump 270 electoral
votes. that is like in theory, this building could float away and go to mars. that's not journalism and i get that but it's not that serious thought about what's going on in the election. and i think that yesterday you had another person to out dumping unbelievably folder which i won't repeat on this stage and there's no story in politico about their own employee writing and saying stuff about the president-elect of the united states. it was disgusting, reprehensible, unacceptable. >> let me interject one second. he is no longer working here. >> but there was no coverage in politico of this and i think that if a republican jay walks, it's a front-page story. if little johnny at thomas
jefferson middle school says something inappropriate, the rnc gets a phone call and asks are how are we going to respond to this? should he step down? and i think that if you are going to engage in that, there's a similar level of responsibility that you have to hold your own people accountable and put out a story and say politico fire this person because this behavior is unacceptable. you have a media reporter, use them. though i think i'm willing to in my capacity at the rnc, engage with reporters that want to engage in serious discussion but sometimes we are on the wrong side, we are wrong and when we are we should be called out for it but there's not one story in this passage saying something positive about the rnc, not a single headline and i think when you look at the fact that the rnc spent $175 million in data, put together the best ground operation that i believe in politico history and everything
becomes a story about what we did wrong or how you came up short but wecould have done this better .i think at some point you've got to give us credit for a few things here and there orat least be willing to cover it from a more responsible way . [applause] >> fairenough . >> and similarly, i think that just like you say republicans make mistakes, i think reporters make mistakes and not only at politico, across the spectrum. you can see that probably quicker. >> not for enough times. >> i think it's a news organization's responsibility to take responsibility and to , when there's a mistake made to correct it and i think it's what we do. >> one of the things important to me is you can't put the genie back in the bottle. when youtweet out the headline and it says xy and z and we are going to look into
this , >> could i get some credit for drinking out of the trunk top ? >> we are not done. >> it's good quality. >> you're going to get much more good-quality too. a lot of results. but i think that the problem is that it speaks first, fix later and that's not acceptable. i said there are times when news is breaking and i get that and i've lived in this world long enough that you're competing against others, fair enough but when you get it wrong , you can't go back and take away what people have seen and say how many times is something shared incorrectly and on friday, tuesday, two days ago, there's a story that reporter in politico puts out saying sean spicer disinvited twitter from the text. first of all, i'd love to say i have power to diss invite someone from a meeting with the president-elect but i don't.
and they were never invited and i was never asked my politico whether that happened and yet they put that story back in the bottle and say , and so once it's out there, it's out there. that's what i think is unfortunate is that the attempt to quickly put up headlines and be provocative is not good journalism. understood? >> can we move on to some other topics? >> i can keep going. [overlapping conversation] >> we've only got 45 minutes left but we have a lot of things i think you want to talk about and we want to talk about so let's talk about some things in the news recently. a couple hours ago, president obama gave his pre-i'm going to hawaii press conference. next year it will be the pre-mara longo press conference. and he said and i think it's been reported that the cia and fbi and director of national intelligence now are
in unison that they believe russia interfered in the election. do you think that's true? >> i'm not an intel person. i'mnot ready on this information but i think there's two different things. one is look, i've changed my gmail six times in the last six months . i think that there are hackers out there trying to do things, sure. do i think foreign governments, russia and others try to probe us sites, govern them, otherwise? sure. russia, china. we do it, they do it but i think the problem i have with this story and the narrative that out there about russia is a few things. number one, this wouldn't have happened if hillary clinton didn't have a secret server. she didn't follow protocol. >> none of the hacking would have happened?
>> a lot of the stuff that is in discussion. number two, the stuff they wrote was inappropriate and they are basically saying, i'm not excusing hacking. for everyone out there saying, like i said, there's multiple pieces to this story but they wrote what they wrote. now they're basically saying it's russia's fault that someone found out that i said bad things about hillary clinton or people in her orbit. that being said, third, no one talks about this but the wall street journal had it right yesterday. the dnc security measures weren't up to snuff.they tried by all accounts to cross, a lot of political entities and the dnc. people are mad in the democratic world, they should be mad at the dnc it department. >> one of the things, you knew this in the cycle before he went tothe transition before donald trump one area what do you know , the rnc was hacked. do you explain the situation? >> there's two things important to know. got a call last friday night from a couple insiders of the washington post.
and they said they thought we have sources in the intel world that are saying that because both institutions were hacked, and they only allowed information to go out on the dnc that clearly russia intended to influence the outcome of the election. i said okay, well, we didn't get hacked so if we didn't get hacked then the premise is wrong and the conclusion must be false. so we got the washington post, we explained some stuff and they said there enough. the new york times went ahead with it and now we see it reportedfrom cnn and washington journal saying our son was probed but our systems were such that we weren't hacked .>> what do you mean my probe?>> this is the second point.people throw around two terms that are important. one is hacking is actually
penetrating the system and getting in and being able to extract data. right. probing is when you are just standing out there doing what's called fishing exercises, sending out all the emails saying what your gmail password, there you go. and the prince of sultan wants to give us this. and when you open those, that's a phishing attempt and that's how they get in. which we've learned from the dnc is one of the ways they were able to hack into their system so probing is just been bouncing off the system trying to find ways to get in. it's almost likeknocking on the door and see which ones open, going around the house and seeing which window is open . they tried to break in but they didn't enter and in the case of the dnc, they found an open window and went in area that's a different thing and mark! is twofold. we weretold that the conclusion was based on those facts . so if the facts are not true
then the conclusion must be faulty. the other thing that's interesting is on november 17, the director of national intelligence went up to the house intelligence committee and made it clear and open testimony that the connection to russia, and i've got testimony here if you want to view that vote. it's politico story on it but that fact, he says in open testimony that it's inconclusive that russia was behind the wikileaks. so that fact has been devoid of this conversation. all i'm saying is you have an open testimony stating it and yet we are called to say why can't you just accept this fact? why isn't the dni'stestimony being brought into the discussion . >> he says they concluded that russia did metal. >> but there's a difference between them probing and then affecting the outcome and there is zero evidence that
they affected the outcome. the rnc was calledto dhs and they said to us before the election , they called us and they said we want to be very clear, there's no way that you can pack voting machines and have an effect on the outcome. our voting systems are so desperate that we use, paper ballots here, there is no way that you could pack or change the outcome of the election and they were asking for our assistance to make sure that to the extent that we could help reassure the american public that we believe in the integrity of the voting system and yet right after the election you have john podesta and david brock suddenly going ahead and getting electors to change their vote and calling into question the outcome of the election. it's ironic that it's been who are doing what they accuse off of and is now us on defensive with the media. [applause] that's my staff. >> let's move on.
one of the things, let's be a little more forward-looking. this morning we went into a little more detail about this operation, what it would look like under donald trump. and you said quote, i think we have to look at everything. i don't think these briefings need to be daily, i don't know that that all needs to be on camera. you worked in the bush press shop. what model are you looking like when you make comments like that. >> if you think about that comment for what it's worth in terms of having them on camera which is something mike mccrory thought was a mistake and needs to be raised salmon and i think it's not a question of saying this is going to happen or this is not going to happen but i think in washington too often we say this is how it's always been done, let's keep it going. there's a dialogue that can happen with the white house correspondents association and say what would make these
more informative? what is a metal better tool to have a more adult level as opposed to having, again, maybe they come out similar. maybe there's tweaks that make it more accessible. maybe there's things that allow members of the public to ask the white house press office something but for too long i think we had a very stale operation which is all of the mainstream media folks get front row seats and it's a question of here are the broadcast networks, you're the washington post and new york times. what about some of the conservative media having some of the price seats in there? what about some of the top bloggers being able to come in? i think that's a conversation worth having. there's a need to at least have a conversation and discuss it and figure out what would make things more open for as long as you guys talk about transparency, let's have a discussion. >> would be in your front row? >>again, i haven't thought this through . >> in donald trump's road. >> maybe it's a rotatingpool. maybe it's first come first serve . >>. [laughter] >> but look, all i'm saying
is that there should be a conversation. it shouldn't be like hey, you're the status quo, let's keep going. that's the problem of what goes on in this town is that this is the way it's always happened and what donald trump represents is someone who comes and says let's get it done, let's question the status quo, let's and business as usual and let's make change. >> picking of that. >> you have a staff here, they should be clapping every time. >> in terms of that though, you talk about business as usual. one of the things, we were at president obama's house for the christmas party. >> i was not. >> do you think will keep those long-held trip traditions, the gridiron dinner, the correspondents association dinner. >> i've got to be honest with you, do you think that's what we're focused on right now? >> it's not but i think if you look at the people and the pace in which he has put
together a cabinet, that's where the focus is. look what he did with boeing, the tech meeting the other day. this is a guy focused on getting things done, not worried about whether or not we change the color of the drapes or what parties were going to put onhe wants to put on a party for america and offer real change but look, you can say what you want but our focus is not whether or not we're throwing the gridiron dinner . >> the role of the white house communications shop should be decidedly different because donald trump has the ability and has been remarkably successful at communicating . he sends stocks all over the place and we talked about a company. >> what do you think as you kind of envision the next four years or even the next six months,what do you envision, how do you envision a press job changing? is there a changing role now that he's able to and has been successful in tweeting ? >> absolutely. he's got 17.6 million people on twitter, a number of 's of
millions on facebook and instagram. he has the ability like no one, not just politicians but i would argue no one else to really affect, communicate in the most effective direct way that anybody's ever seen and i think that's a very powerful tool that will be used in the presidency to communicate directly with the american people . >> where does that leave someone like you? >> again, i don't think it's a one-stop shop. you just go to your way for four years. but it's a powerful tool. i think he's going to use that as part of a whole arsenal of communications tools but you saw that, there are new and evolving technologies that he's utilized whether it'sfacebook live or twitter , instagram, but there's a way that again, this isn't about bypassing the press. it's about saying that it's not a single avenue to communicate with the american people. >> what do you think was the best to? >> to date? that's a great question.
i have not analyzed them. i think the stuff he did around carrier was very effective. if you look at it effectively and say at the end of the day, he goes out there, talks about a company's name and its holiday season, there are 1000 people and their families who from thanksgiving to christmas now can breathe a sigh of relief that he did it area i think that, the pressure you put on them to understand how important this was was great. he means what he says and the end of four years, people and a lot of people, i know this was in a tech meeting the other day, aside from the people who are on his payroll, i don't think anybody in that room voted for him but i tell you that when they walked out of that room, they were unbelievably impressed with his desire to get things done and get it moving quickly and not be bureaucracy for an answer. >> so who do you think covers trump fairly?
>> not politico. >> there's a couple reporters here and there but there's folks at bloomberg that have done a good job. [laughter] >> .,.,. >> there are people that have written good stories from time to time. i've seenstuff out of the wall street journal. there's a lot of conservative media that despite it being conservative media have done a good job of being objective and writing straight up stories . so, but i've seen good packages here and there from differentoutlets but i think objectively there's a lot of them that definitely, it's not even a question of, a lot of conservatives talk about bias, it's a question of fairness and having facts right .
>> one of the questions are colleagues crowd sourced our questions tonight and one of the things the white house reporters were interested in was about access to the building. right now reporters can wander around, make the press shop and talk about hornets if they want to. there's been topics during the bush ministration of closing that out for a little bit. is that something you guys are thinking about yet? >> i think it would be premature to talk about that kind of aspect because i don't have the authority to have that discussion . it would be highly inappropriate for me to answer that. >> do you think the access is important that they have in that role? >> sure, the question is how do you define access. is it walking in the press secretary's office all the time, is it access to the workplace where there's key staff? i know the obama administration has been from the white house press for, i think what is actually, i mean is, i'm not trying to be coy is as long as we get our phone calls returned because if you talk about access, i thought the folks who have
with this in last several years and there are correspondents who only show up key things so is it, is there may be a better way to have an open dialogue? but frankly, one of the things that's important is it's not just the media. maybe it is inviting more people from the public to be involved and doing things on reddit, the ana, doing facebook live, townhall. where you are actually involving the public in the discussion and not limiting it and saying the only people who can ask members of the white house are members of the press corps. >> but do you think press conferences are important? >> sure they are. i think interaction with the press is a healthy part ofthe democracy . >> you been around db for a while and have seen a lot of press secretaries . and the bush white house, in which you worked, in the obama white house and there's the style, ari fleischer was an aggressive press secretary
area that's how he seen. he was seen as an aggressive smart guy. someone like carty was a little more laid-back. your boss, under his opinion on josh, other twists on the speech, does it seem like what you think is an effective strategy for someone in that role? >> that's one of thethings , you guys know that there is like this west wing of the show version of what a press secretary does which is stand up at a podium for 12 hours and on tv at night and as you guys know, 95 percent is off-camerahelping to facilitate the press get the answers to what they need . i think the best thing a press secretary but a press shop can do is to make sure they are aggressively getting the facts and figures out and shaping stories, working with
reporters to get it right. it's a two-way street and i recognize that. if we don't get the facts out there, and that's on us so i think it is incumbent on any press shop to make sure that they are educating and informing reporters. one of the things when i groups of up-and-coming press secretaries is they say don't secretary a press secretary and by that me i mean, too many signs i will see someone that says my boss got a call from politico so i had them call anna back. that's the secretary, you ruin the message say call this person back. the question i have is did you educate the reporter? did you say i read this study that got put out, the gpa said the following. here's why we think this is an important decision or here's why i think sometimes the narrative is incorrect on this. have you done your job to work with the reporter to inform them to the best of your ability? if you've done that, that's the healthiest thing that a press shop can do is make sure we are getting the facts
and story out to the best of our ability. >> how do you see your role? you have competitive exchanges with people on the campaign trail, myself included. is that the role of the fighting back, is that how you see it? >> it depends, if there is a conversation and it's a true conversation with the reporter who says i'd like to do a story onthat, tell me what you think about this, what do you have for the good folks on your shop , but at the end of the day we come out and we don't like the story, that's one thing. too often the phone call i get is can you give me a quote, we're writing a story that says the following. that's not journalism. i'm not going to hand over quotes to legitimize the story that attacks me and that's where i think too often i have a problem and i'll go aggressively at reporter which is not reporting. that's just collecting and cutting and pasting. i thinkthat's the problem too often where i need a quote, my deadline is in 10 minutes . all we're doing is adding the legitimacy to a cut and paste
exercise . [applause] that's the staff also. there's a couple politico reporters. >> let's talk about your role now. in 2011, is that right? >> that's a long time. >> it's a long time. >> was about, you've now been up innew york , 11 nights at marriott this year. so, can i borrow some? describe your, describe your policy interaction with. how does he consume media, what's he like behind-the-scenes? i always believe more people that can get to know him, the better. he is unbelievably caring and gracious and you laugh but you look at the people who have been around him control tower, 10, 15, 20 years .
he takes a very personal interest in people's lives and i don't want to get into it but i will say that he has hung out with me as well he will who call and check on you. he will show concern and i know the exterior sometimes is the tough guy that is just a successful businessman but he has got a true concern about not just the people around him but when you're in meetings with him, potential cabinet secretaries, business leaders, his constant question is how do i get that done? he is so motivated to make things better for this country that it's something that frankly escapes the narrative that out there and it is something i wishmore people can see on a one-on-one basis . >> you bring up an interesting question, why don't we see that? >> it's something that the town halls with the family, there are consistently more opportunities we are looking
for to do that but it's just it's a side of him that i think as president, a lot of times he doesn't, as much as he is in the camera, there's a lot of moments that you want some privacy, that he wants to have a discussion with the family is going through tough times or an employee has experienced the loss and as much as he appreciates the spotlight, he has a very private side to him that is very, very under known if you will. >> tell us a little bad about you, you are in front of the cameras a lot in your public persona. you were here in spirit island, you went to connecticut college, got a masters at the naval process, what your washington story? >> i was a japaneselanguage, i was going to be a major in japanese language . >> that's where the story ends.
>> but you were a japanese language ... >> i went to college and i saw it was in the early 90s when i went to college in the late 80s and japan was coming on the scene as the next powerhouse and i thought, i grew up in a very working-class family . my parents struggled to help get me through college and i thought i could make money, if i learned japanese, and assess the economy, iwas the kind of kid that was constantly selling something, greeting cards, all that stuff back to magazines . every neighbor had me selling now but i thought, so i went in for the first couple of years, it was an hour and a half every morning and i frankly didn't enjoy. i took a government class and i had done a little of this in high school and i really felt challenged.i enjoyed the discussionabout the role of government and politics .
i felt energized and volunteering on the campaign in 1992, i volunteered on connecticut's second district campaign. we lost by 2300 votes in a racewe literally 50 grand . and then in 1994, they hired me back to run one of the field operations, to field operations, 54 towns and cities. we lost by two votes on election night . and so i came down here in turn for the house ways and means committee, we had just taken over congress. we worked at night on the senatorial committee doing research. we used to do this thing called coding where we go through the record and type it in to a database and we would get i think $.95 per article . i worked from 4 pmto midnight at the senatorial committee in a basement that is now a gym . and then did everything i could to get a job in the press and finally, everyone
kept saying you'd be really good at this, youhave no experience . >> a real irony, right? >> sorry. >> hope that wasn't my cup. there it was. >> didn't break. >> of course it won't. you cannot get over. >> bottom line, there was a guy, a poster that i was affiliated with in 1996 and he said there's a race in western pennsylvania. the guy is in a primary,he's not going to lose the primary, do you want to do it and i was like yes . so i moved to washington pennsylvania. to work for a guy out there. >> who was that? >> gary welsh, he dropped out of the primary right before but at the time, this is important, i whatever it was, was for three months the campaign manager and press
secretary. another pollster who was affiliated with the media consultant called and said frank is running for reelection in new jersey. he's looking for a campaign manager. >> i'm acampaign manager . >> and that kicked off so then i think i've worked now for 11 different members of congress but we all enjoy the hunt and i think one of the things i like is at the end of the day you've either got the story killed or you got it to come out the way you wanted it and if more, you got that but you know every single daywhere you stand . that attack was not the way you wanted, did you shake the story, did you lose? you have good days and bad days but every day you are fighting out there and i think you can be a legislative assistant and someone that's worked for a decade and have an amendment passing omnibus but for a lot of people that's their
passion, they want that to happen. >> but you talk about press access to one of the things the trump campaign gained notoriety for was for banning reporters , banning outlets. politico was one of them but you said i think that your not going to happen. >> there's a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds and a government entity and i think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government but that is something youcan't ban an entity from . conservative, liberal or otherwise, that's what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship so there's a vastly different model when it comes to government and what should be accepted and that's on both sides. >> talk about that interaction, the press corps and the trump campaign has
had a contentious relationship but as far as the press pool, you guys are working a little more collaboratively? >> yes and you are seeing that. we've got a press pool that travels with him now. >> alongside him, not with him. >> again, it's unprecedented. >> i'll behonest, i don't know where you would sit on the plane . he's in the middle. but to the extent that wehave brought the press along , i think part of it to is that there is a balance and i think all you hear from the press is we want, we want and there's a balance between your available to see certain things but i get it, you want to see everything and you want to meet at every meeting, i like to be at some of your meetings area but you go that's not so. so i think when it comes to government access, that's one thing versus what happens in the private entity. >> how gracious of a media
consumer is trump? >> i'd say very. you see it in terms of how he reacts. he watches a lot, he reads a lot. obviously he's ontwitter quite a bit . but i think, look, i do think that on the whole you look at coverage that he gets and honestly a lot of times it's hit first and ask later. itis not on balance their . and there are hits that he takes that it's just constantly, there's almost no end to what he could do to satisfy the press corps in terms of knowledge and information and there's a point at which nothing is good enough . >> one of the things that, let's talk about some of those hit. >> why not? >> the drain the swamp message he talked about.
his cabinet is made up, and these are people that have impressive careers but he ran his final add about a global financial conspiracy and then has built his cabinet with several peoplefrom wall street . and again, that's not a commentary on wall street but if it matches what you said on the campaign and what he's doing now ... >> just because you worked somewhere, for example, you take a guy like rex tillerson. the guy grew up and started working at age 8. he lived in a house that had one bedroom, slept on the couch through college. he's now head of exxon. you want to talk about a guy who knows success, who knows what it's like to be dirt poor, who now knows what it's like to be successful and you look at the countries that he is in, the work they are doing, he's unbelievably qualified and he brings a perspective that is so outside the box but yet the
focus is on his network. it's not like all these people ... i get it but i think the problem that i have is it's always the question of how much are they worth, not what are they qualified to do? >> it's the disconnect between what he campaigned on and what he's done. >> but that's what i'm getting at, these people are all committed to his agenda. they're not coming in thanks for the job, i'm going to do what i want to do. youunderstand in a trump administration you are there to advance his agenda and get things done and believe me when i tell you if you don't get things done, he's going to replace you . >> how long does someone have to get things done before they replace them ? >> i think he wants to hit the ground running. i don't think it, i know it. he wants to bring real change right away, day one. and that means getting things done, repairing the economy, getting job creation, reducing regulation. those things are going to happen they want. >> how long will it take to replace obamacare?
>> a lot of that depends on what can be done by executive order and what can be done legislative and statutory. >> we are almost out of time. we don't want to ask you about your role, you've been here for a long time and there's been a lot of speculation that you will be the next press secretary so we will have the pleasure of dealing with you more in that role. is that something you are looking forward to or you are hoping to do? >> i appreciate the speculation but there's been no announcement and i honestly meanness, until the president-elect makes a decision on any position and you've seen thiswith some of the candidate, you never get ahead of him. he makes the decisions and he has not made a decision . >> have you met with him? >> no. >> hannah and i've always though in thinking about writing the playbook and thinking about when we see speculation about cabinet secretaries, that ultimately are wrong, does that mean that you made a decision and has the decision change?
>> it means, i think what happens in this process is that there are people who come in and make the case, either the potential candidate for members of the staff and believe he's going in a certain direction but i've never once seen him change his mind is that we they made a decision based on some reading of the tealeaves . but until he says hit send on that, it's not final. >> so you think it's just speculation. >> i know it is. >> they react to something they took something away from that. >> yes, or the potential job candidate who's come in and believe that because of some sort of facial tick or whatever, that means this but no, until he makes a decision, it's not final. >> we have two questions, you are known at the rnc for
wearing your uniform. no? >> when i have returned from the pentagon, i may take it off but there's a clear delineation between anything i've ever done for the navy and political work. when i walked into the office, and i changed immediately, yes. >> this is the most pressing question. >> we didn't know this until today. >> i got several emails about this. >> it's not that. >> there's one question that everyone has been askingus to ask you . will you reprise your role as the easter bunny act the white house as you did when you worked under the bush administration? [overlapping conversation]
tell us about the easter bunny to get started. >>give us the back story here. >> that's one i will definitely preface for . so i've been at usd are, my wifei think is in the audience . and i said you know, you know sarah armstrong is at this office and she decided i was like really, are you serious? yes, how cool would that be? she was like yes. that should be the handler and she said yes. i will tell you though that the same costume you see has been around i think since kennedy. >> your kidding me. >> you're going to want to get in early. the early morning shift is where it's at. because i will tell you once the sun comes up, oh man. it's not a goodplace to be . >> we will leave it on that i
think . >> sean, thank you so much. >> happy birthday. >> thank youfor coming in . [applause] >> coming to play, we appreciate your candor and we want to thank you here in the audience and the live stream for joining us and we will see you again at the bank of america for another edition of the playbook series this is our last one of the year so stay tuned for 2017 sick around, there's cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and have a great evening . [applause] >>. [inaudible conversation]
think what i was saying earlier is that it's not just being prepared but letting people know in congress, i think too often we focus on the key, these sort of mainstream media types is fine area there are a great part of the media there's a lot more ways that you've seen what's going on in participating in this democracy . >>. [inaudible] >> some people. and there's something that we give them a break but others that are not good. >> how do you get the cnn and the new york times? >> it depends on the individual authors. i don't want to paint anybody