(CNN) – Sean Spicer’s briefings are contentious, confusing, and his credibility is being questioned more every day.
Monday’s example: trying to distance President Trump from his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Spicer said, “There’s been this discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”
A reporter exclaimed, “He was chairman!”
Spicer responded by saying, “Hey Jon, someone is asking a question, please calm down.”
Manafort’s role was not limited. Hired in March 2016, he was promoted to chairman in May, managing the campaign at a crucial time. When reporters pressed, Spicer got the facts wrong again.
Spicer said, “Paul was brought on sometime in June.”
The press release says March.
Two months in, and the story of this presidency is about trust, or a lack thereof.
On day one, Spicer shocked the press corps with false statements about crowd size, saying, “This was the largest audience to witness an inauguration period. Both in person, and around the globe.”
Defending the boss means bending into contortions.
Reporters don’t know what to believe. Last month, CBS reported that navy secretary nominee Philip Bilden was “likely to withdraw.” Spicer instantly denied it, calling Bilden “100% committed.”
Sure enough, Bilden withdrew a week later.
Spicer often brings printouts of news stories to the podium, using and misusing reporting to prove his point.
Last week, Spicer shared Fox’s baseless claim about Obama using the British to tap Trump, sparking an international incident.
On Monday, Spicer said it was silly to equate quoting a news story to support for that story.