Sean Spicer Regrets Inauguration Crowd Size Comments The former White House press secretary has a new book coming out. Spicer tells NPR that he regrets dressing down the press for reporting on the crowd size at Trump's inauguration.

Sean Spicer Praises Successor Sanders: 'She Understands What The President Wants'

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

President Trump and his team have spent the last couple days crafting and recrafting the messaging around that wild press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week. Well, my co-host Mary Louise Kelly spent some time today with the man who was in charge of delivering the message for the first six months of Trump's presidency - former press secretary Sean Spicer. Hey, Mary Louise.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, BYLINE: Hey, Ailsa.

CHANG: So what did you guys talk about?

KELLY: Well, he's got a new book out. And my interest was not so much in sitting down and doing the traditional book interview but in - well, in two things. One, this week, which whatever your politics has been a PR nightmare for the White House.

CHANG: Yeah.

KELLY: And then second, the big-picture question of, as White House press secretary, who do you serve? Are you ultimately responsible to the president or to the American people? So we got into a back-and-forth about that, me and Sean Spicer.

CHANG: Let's hear how he answered those questions.

KELLY: You write over and over in the book how you define the job of press secretary. And you say you see it as communicating the thoughts and views of the president...

SEAN SPICER: Correct.

KELLY: ...When he or she isn't there to do so. Is it not also to provide accurate information to the American people?

SPICER: Sure. But I think that part of it is if you ask what somebody thinks - you know, what's the president feel about this, what does he think about it? - your job isn't to interpret that. It's to say, OK, you asked me how I felt. And if he felt, you know, angry or betrayed or whatever, that's a subjective description that that person can tell you whether it's right or wrong or whether it's based off of something. But if you're asking, why does he think the following - and your job is to say, he believes the following. That's it.

KELLY: What I'm asking is when the president says or tweets something that is demonstrably untrue, is your job as his spokesperson to go up and parrot it from the lectern, or is it to correct the record?

SPICER: No, my job is to say - if someone says, you know, what is the - you know, and in many cases, as I did say, the tweet speaks for itself. It's not to interpret for him. I don't think - that's not the job.

KELLY: But when the tweet contains something that's factually inaccurate...

SPICER: That's - but again, it's not - as a spokesperson, you're not up there to play referee. It's to say, this is what he thinks and believes.

KELLY: So we had a really interesting back-and-forth about this one, Ailsa, me and Sean Spicer. And I'm going to have the full interview for you tomorrow on the program.

CHANG: I'm really looking forward to it.

KELLY: Thank you. Thanks, Ailsa.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE LIMINANAS SONG, "(I'VE GOT) TROUBLE IN MIND")

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