Reporters mangled a quote from White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday after he was asked how President Trump will approach tax reform legislation.
A reporter asked Spicer at the day’s press briefing if Trump would “sign on” to a plan put forth by congressional Republicans, as he did with the failed healthcare bill.
Spicer disputed the premise of the question, since it suggested that the White House was not actively involved in writing the healthcare legislation.
“I would dispute that we signed onto someone’s plan,” Spicer said. “We worked with the House. We were very on-board.”
But reporters interpreted Spicer’s answer as an attempt to distance the White House from the failed bill, and as a claim of non-support.
“‘I would dispute we signed onto a plan,’ Spicer says about health care,” Politico’s Josh Dawsey said on Twitter. “Kind of unreal.”
Jason Linkins of Huffington Post also said on Twitter, “If true why’d [Trump] threaten GOP lawmakers w/ primaries?” a reference to Trump’s recent suggestion that he would campaign against the Republicans who voted against his bill.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent responded to Spicer’s comments by tweeting a photo of a previous tweet from Trump that heralded the healthcare legislation as “our wonderful new healthcare bill.”
Reporters botch Sean Spicer quote on healthcare bill