Trump White House
Before he abruptly ended Tuesday's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer had been unusually fulsome in his praise of his displeased boss, President Trump. The president's trip "truly was an extraordinary week for America and our people," Spicer said, and the Saudi Arabia leg "was a historic turning point that people will be talking about for years to come," in which Trump single-handedly "united the civilized world in the fight against terrorism and extremism."
"We've never seen before at this point in a presidency such sweeping reassurance of American interests and the inauguration of a foreign policy strategy designed to bring back the world from growing dangers and perpetual disasters brought on by years of failed leadership," Spicer said. And Trump's interactions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that upended 50 years of close U.S.-European relations? "I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel, he would describe as fairly unbelievable," Spicer said. "They get along very well."
Spicer and other Trump spokespeople often exaggerate on the president's behalf, "but Tuesday's monologue seemed to venture into new territory for even the Trump administration," says The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson. And Spicer isn't alone in his over-the-top laudations of Trump. She points to White House economic adviser Gary Cohn's effusive praise for Trump's deals with Saudi Arabia, and this gem from Hope Hicks, a communications aide and longtime Trumpista:
Former Obama White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, who called that Hicks quote "a hilarious impression of North Korean propaganda," told the Post's Johnson that spin only works if it's believable, and what's coming out of Spicer's mouth makes him "look like an idiot." That's "baffling, because it doesn't convince anyone," he added. "It doesn't serve anyone to insist that black is white, that down is up, or that Donald Trump is this warm and fuzzy guy." The North Korea comparison wasn't just coming from Democrats, either. "It's insecure, over-the-top," said veteran GOP strategist Mike Murphy. "I call it Great Leader-esque."
Or maybe it's just trying to keep your job? You can read more of Johnson's analysis at The Washington Post.