“Can you just turn that light off?”
It has been less than a week, but it feels like another lifetime when the big joke around Washington, D.C. was: “Where in the world is Kellyanne Conway?”
That’s because shortly after President Trump made his stunning decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, it was reported that White House press secretary Sean Spicer was literally hiding “in the bushes” outside the White House, trying to avoid the glaring spotlight of the press corps. From The Washington Post report:
After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this … Can you just turn that light off?”
Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him. For 10 minutes, he responded to a flurry of questions, vacillating between light-hearted asides and clear frustration with getting the same questions over and over again.
The story quickly made the rounds, adding to an already long list of random, bizarre, and infuriating things Spicer has done since joining Trump’s White House. However, the Post later issued a correction to more accurately explain that Spicer wasn’t literally hiding “in the bushes,” but that “Spicer huddled with his staff among bushes near television sets on the White House grounds.”
In the bushes or among them, Spicer may be taking cover for real. Since the Comey story erupted, he’s been away on Naval Reserve duty, but some reports claim that Trump is using Spicer’s absence to “audition” potential replacements for him, including deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.