tv Sean Spicer Discusses Incoming Trump Administration CSPAN January 17, 2017 10:20pm-10:46pm EST
of that and admiration. he was tough and he did not always give you guys what you wanted, but he was always prepared, he was always courteous, he always tried to make sure that he could share with you as much of our thinking and our policy and our vision as possible and tried to be as responsive as possible and that is how he trained the rest of his team to be. so, and the folks that i have had the great joy and pleasure of working with over the past ten years on this incredible journey, this guy it ranks as high as just about anybody i have worked with. he is not only a great press secretary, but more importantly he is a really, really good man. i man. i'm really proud of him.
this so josh, congratulations. [applause] and also thanks for putting up with all of this, because they have made sacrifices too. >> before you go -- [inaudible] >> now, the incoming white house precious secretary sean. in this interview he talks about getting the trumps message out in the age of social media and how he became involved in politics. this is 20 minutes. >> sean spicer, incoming white house press secretary, how are you preparing to brief behind the podium and take on this job? >> it's an ongoing process, we been doing the daily call at 10:30 a.m. every day. you have to hide behind a phone behind
you do it. part of it is getting used to taking the rapid fire and the wide range that exists. i'll do practice sessions and one of the things my predecessors have suggested is to sit down at a podium and pretend reporters are asking real questions to try to make sure the depth and breath of what's about to come your way on a daily basis. it is making sure you are key on hot button issues. sit down with key players will be paying key roles in the administration and about the relationships to get a better understanding of the issue. also get a understanding of the battle rhythm of taken incoming questions that they do. >> you've talked with josh earnest, any advice or anything you took away from that conversation and also touring his office in the briefing room? >> yes josh talking with him was on believably generous with both their time on counsel. they shared with me some of the challenges they faced some of
the ideas they had. a lot of of it was just me asking questions about procedurally what they have found works better than others in terms of timing, preparation, things like that. it has been eight years since i've been in the white house so it was an opportunity to acquaint myself with the size and scope and offices and how many people really sit in the different areas that deal with the press. that was very helpful as part of the planning piece. i. i would say beyond josh and jen, whether it's eric fleischer, jay carney, and others going back, everybody everybody who has held this job has reached out and offered their advice and counsel. as a humbling experience when you realize that you're in a club of 30 people who have held this position.
>> the biggest change was social media, twitter, instagram, facebook, how does that add the challenge for you trying to communicate a message? >> i look at it as an opportunity not a challenge. an opportunity not a challenge. when we left the bush administration in 2009 there was no at press sector at potus, there's a facebook page or instagram. we go in with a government assets that exist but i mostly donald trump trump in his twitter handle and he has 50,000,000 following, 19,000,000 on twitter. that's a powerful tool. as i powerful tool. as i said it's not for 280. when you realize it's one thing to tweet the power and the movement that he represents is a tool that nobody's had to be able to reach people in a unique way. having spent time at the white house you know how close the quarters are, how that's can affect. here at trump tower it's a
close-knit group and every knows each other well and we work side-by-side with each other. i think that atmosphere will continue. >> you grew up in rhode island? do you remember when he first got interested in politics? >> my sr. year, the a phenomenal guy who inspired me and not in a lot of students. to get involved and to understand the awesomeness of politics, the the battle in the back-and-forth of ideas and campaigning. so i toiled a little in college putting up signs. when we're college my sophomore year i got involved in the congressional race, my junior year i volunteered at the state legislature. so it was that kind of for five years that we got an interest in politics beyond the theory by getting on the field and helping
out. >> let me get back to the high school teacher. what did he say? >> i think it was a lot of teachers. it was the passion i had four. the ability to share that and inspire people and motivate you and so different people are different things. some people find math or particular language, i think in this case i really enjoyed the way he presented politics. campaigning, the back-and-forth, the idea of drafting and implementing a message. it was something that appealed to me. >> so that's i got involved in politics, why republican party politics? >> that's a good question which is from a state of rhode island. we've had some good mayors and governors and we've had some federal level but i think part of it was my father had a very strong business sense talking
about regulatory aspects, taxes and how they affected the ability to do business and create jobs. i remember doing a luxury tax, and sailing and and boatbuilding are crucial and they pass a luxury text which aim to raise money from rich people and it was all the little people who sold boats and move boats that lost their jobs and they left rhode island a mood. we used to be a destination for boatbuilding the manufacturing and that went away. people started started buying used boats are moving to different places and i think watching things like that happen on an economic front and how it affected job creation got me going. obviously from a social perspective i grew up believing in the pro-life, profamily agenda and i think the republican parties and conservative value was a better
fit. >> brother sisters? >> one of each both younger. >> what what they think about what you're doing? >> there's different parts. i think they're very proud of me and what i have done and were going to work, some degree another think they disagree on a particular issue or something that's in the republican party platform and so there much less politically driven, but they're both both very proud of the work that i've done and where i've ended up. >> so a lot of debate over thanksgiving. >> most dinners end up with some kind of political discussion or issue discussion. >> let me ask you about your experience i capitol hill. how will you apply working for the house budget committee to the white house job. >> i worked in the senate and house somewhere close to 11 different members of congress with the house and senate maybe 10. but i think understanding the issues whether the house budget committee or house government reform committee,
various problems, there's two things important. one is the issues and the understanding that i now have but also the process and the way it works. one of of the things i think is important about washington is as i say understand how the sausage is made in understanding how an agenda is driven and how it's implemented. so knowing the process annoy the leadership knowing rank-and-file and how they operate i think helps build a narrative and driving a successful agenda that's been put forward. >> you also went to the naval war college to study strategic studies. >> it's an av version, and looking back on history understanding the various worsen capabilities there is definitely
multiple components to getting a masters degree there. so why did you pursue that? >> , navy reservist. it's strongly encouraged to be promoted through the office of ranks. it was a great opportunity to learn the naval war college is a phenomenal institution and amazing professors there. the material is phenomenal. i think think it allowed me to grow intellectually and to study various aspects not just the navy but the joint force and strategic thinking. part part of this press secretary step process, comprehend and compartmentalize different things and communicate that to the public. so how do you approach that? the same way same way as i've done it before. i've been doing this a couple of decades. part of this is figuring out how do you take a complex issue and
put it down to an effective narrative on the what of those selling point that help drive the issuer policy trying to sell or implement? whether it's the american people were white house mutations director? where do you draw the line? >> i think you look how they currently have it set up have a good model. i suspect a similar situation. they're focusing a lot more on the logistics in the planning, what are the events that are going to drive the commode of the pieces that will drive a successful narrative a message. the press office deals a lot with the day today, the incoming inquiries whether it's regional specialty or national media. i think we have a phenomenal team of people on both communications and an press said will help ensure that whether it's day-to-day questions or long-term communications
planning that we have an effective operation. >> you talked about this at the university of chicago, but where's your head now in terms of how you want to structure this and what if any changes you want to implement. >> i think were well ahead of schedule. we have great individuals to come in and be part of the white house commute stain. we've started to talk to people about being part of the various departments and agencies. dealing with the press people i think what i have done is go back and do with the president-elect and challenge everybody who was offered an appointment or position in different secretaries which you can go out and see if we can do a better job and deliver a better product more effectively and efficiently to the american people. so i'm talking to reporters and to my predecessors and to outside stakeholders and to individuals and asking them what can we do better, how do we more effectively communicate a message.
had we bring in more people so it's not just the mainstream media. how do we bring in bloggers and talk radio maybe people who haven't felt as welcome or can afford to have a person in the briefing room five days a week. so i think were trying to bring more voices, more people people into the process. >> you're also the father of two, how do your kids feel about their dad? >> they're excited. they're young, so they're not fully into of what's entirely happening. they got to walk run here trump tower a few weeks ago and they've seen donald trump on errol the time. i think they're little young to fully comprehend but they're excited for their dad as is my wife, and she's the only reason i can do this job is because she's so supportive.
>> donald trump is tweeting early in the morning, his up late at night. >> he is, keeping up with him is the biggest challenge. he doesn't stop. he is so driven to make this country better and to unite the country and create jobs. and you're right he doesn't stop. he keeps going. i think the country is going to benefit from his energy, enthusiasm and ideas. >> how did you meet your wife? >> she was a member of the media. she stood work at an abc station in washington. we had a mutual friend who we thought would connect and she was right and so we went out to an event outside of washington one saturday and hit it off. >> does she understand the challenges you face. >> she worked in the bush white house. so she understands that. plus being in television her
background moving station to station and the intensity of the new cycle and experience she had at white house she understands it. more importantly she understands what a great honor and opportunity this is for me and is so excited and thrilled and every day it's unbelievably supportive. no matter who you talk to the white house it's demanding on your time. families important. and it's great to have this amazing infrastructure to allow me to do this. >> what did you do in the bush white house? is it representative for media and public affairs. >> when did you first meet -- >> i met him a week after he got elected. i have been asked by individuals who are helping him transition from wisconsin state chairman to rnc state chairman after his election to the chairmanship.
and asked if i would come in and sit down to meet and if i had an interest. i said i would and we hit it off day one in the interview. >> by the way you and talk about somebody else who works nonstop, between rights -- and donald trump they're going 100 miles an hour 23 hours a day. >> day. >> how will he structure the white house and how will he control the flow of information. >> when you look at his job over the last six years at the rnc, he has been unequivocally the most effective rnc chairman throughout history. he understands when you're talking about running an organization with thousands of people in the election season making sure they get paid in raise the money and the briefing gets done, understanding these things this
is what he's been doing for six years. balancing studying priorities and getting things done. despite anyone's political background or philosophy, you have to give him credit for the way he ran that rnc, he founded in huge debt, he put a plan together, got the money raised in implemented the ground game operation his focus, committed, and hard-working. >> i don't have to tell you that during the campaign they predicted hillary clinton was going to win. was there moment for you that you said donald trump is going to beat her? >> yes, election night. >> not before that? >> after 2012 without working to win in the way loss, and you start to recoil a little and don't want to get ahead, i knew we had a path to win, i knew we had a movement you saw people coming out and you wanted it so bad but you are just worried,
it's like you don't want to expose yourself to much after you have tried and not made it in 2012. but on election night when you saw these counties who had gone for obama one after another and places that obama had carried 53 and 54% and they were going trump, you trump, you know was real. it was going to be big. >> what was it like in new york for you. >> honestly there's no other way to describe it. you're standing in the room with the next president and vice president of the united states watching them learn that they have just become the next president and vice president of the united states with their families. here we called our war room, campaign staff were around but it was a very small group and to watch that moment happen with something that few people in history can say they did.
>> do you think he thought he was going to win? >> yes, absolutely. look donald trump doesn't do things that he doesn't think he can be successful at. that's not who he is is not in his dna. he makes a business deal, he makes a gets a on the phone to negotiate something, he doesn't with 100% focus hundred% focus on winning. he does nothing short of that. when he talks about bringing jobs home or creating economic growth, that's driving cost down, he's going to make it happen. he gets the job done. >> what kind of president do you think you'll be? >> effective, successful. look at what he did with carrier, with boeing, he picked up the phone nature carrier got a deal struck that would allow them to keep jobs. talked about excessive talked about excessive cost of the next generation of air force one, working directly with ceos, he's a guy that picks
up the phone asked for a meeting, what it takes to get things done. he has implemented or laid out a philosophy that a lot of job creators are now saying i want to grow more jobs in america and bring jobs back. i want to manufacture more. he has inspired a lot of people around the country and globe want to be part of this american renewal. >> as you know there's a lot of critics out there. a lot of naysayers and conventional was something to pay attention to it all? >> sure. i think to be effective you have to understand what people are thinking, sometimes it helps geigy. sometimes you can tweak a message or an action because maybe you haven't fully appreciated what everyone else's hearing. if you shut off the voices to the right, the left, down the down the middle, you can't be as effective.
again getting back to the president-elect you seen the meetings he's had with individuals, is met with people who are opposed to him and ran against him but he wants the best and brightest people around him he wants the opinions and thoughts that will move the country forward. >> hillary clinton said she wishes and best and he'll be a successful president for all americans. >> i think he continues to demonstrate that through his actions. he is done both talked about his starting at election night on 2:50 a.m. we talks about wanting to unite the country for those who voter form and those who didn't. he continues to show that he will fight for this country and for jobs. he will fight to unite the country and make us proud of his job as president, proud proud to be an american, not that we are to ready but i think he wants to inspire people to go out do what they can to serve the nation make it better.
look at some of the people join in the cabinet. unbelievably successful. setting aside successful careers in business because they want to be part of this movement the part of making the country greater. >> have you had a chance to talk to your high school teacher and mentor? and what has he told you and what have you told him? >> i told a couple times i don't think i'd be here without your inspiration, i think it's important to thank the folks that have helped god knew where you are and how much i've appreciated his support. it's not just now, tonight, he someone i've been able to check in over the years and he's provided support as my entire family heads. they were constantly saying i saw you on this or read this passage it's really good, offers ideas and suggestions, more portly offers prayers and support. >> when you're not working what you like to do? >> wins that?
i don't know when that time is. like i mentioned we have two young kids. as much time as i can spend with them and my wife i do. most the time it's picking up and cleaning up things and trying to pitch in and support my wife the time with the kids is crucial. >> finally were coming from me with you from trump tower. this was iconic and he spent a lot of time at this location. what. what you think the first hundred days will look like? >> he's going to hit the ground running. he wants the the first hundred days first hundred hours and frankly the first afternoon is getting sworn in at 12 oh one, think once he gets back to the white house and settles into the oval office it's going to be guns and blazing right out of the gate. he wants to continue that change
is coming on day one. i think you have a series of actions on day one to show the american people that times have changed business as usual is over. >> are you excited, nervous, nervous, little bit of both? >> a a lot of both. it's an honor when you think about what and honor it is to represent the american people. the idea to have a position like this is something i could've never dreamed of. it's an awesome responsibility but it is exciting and a little bit of nervousness because i want to represent the president-elect to the best of my ability make him proud of the job that my team and i do on his behalf. i want the american people to be proud of this president and the successes he's going to have. >> thank you for your time.
>> we found that public officials, the people people who really govern this country it's not the congress or the president, it's bureaucrats. they rate thousand several some regulations. we found out they don't take think much of ordinary americans. >> benjamin ginsberg, professor of political science and chair of governmental studies talks about his book, what washington gets wrong, the unelected officials who actually run the government and their misconceptions about the american people. >> what do we learn? we elect a congress that makes along, the president executes of the law, the courts review the luscombe but that ain't exactly how the system works. i'm not sure what we think of as the law consists o