Sean Spicer Imagines Coretta Scott King Would Change Her Mind About Jeff Sessions

He also lashed out at critics of the president’s anti-terror raid in Yemen.


Amid mounting outrage over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as she read Coretta Scott King’s 1968 letter opposing the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions’ to the federal bench, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday said he “respectfully disagreed” with the assessment by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow that Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, was a threat to civil rights.

“Like the late Arlen Specter,” Spicer said, “I can only hope that if she was still with us today, that after getting to know him and to see his record and his commitment to voting and civil rights,” she would have agreed with Specter when he said he regretted his vote to kill Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship decades before.

“I would hope that if she was still with us today,” Spicer continued, “she would share that sentiment.”

The remarks were swiftly mocked on social media, with many slamming Spicer for appearing to recast King’s views on civil rights and Sessions’ controversial record on the issue.

Warren was forced to stop reading from King’s letter, in which she accused Sessions of using his office to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens,” Tuesday night after McConnell invoked an arcane rule prohibiting senators from impugning one another. The incident sparked widespread protest among Democrats, who in turn used it as further evidence against President Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general.

Spicer’s statement on King came shortly after he angrily defended the president’s anti-terror raid in Yemen in January in which civilians and a Navy SEAL were killed. He suggested anyone who questioned the success of the mission was doing a “disservice” to the Navy SEAL killed in the mission.

When asked if his comments included Sen. John McCain, who previously described the raid as a “failure,” Spicer replied that the message was for “anybody.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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