Wineke: President should have let Press Secretary Spicer meet Pope Francis
You know what? This is just mean.
When President Trump visited with Pope Francis Wednesday, he was accompanied by his wife, daughter, son-in-law and various officials – but he was not accompanied by his press secretary, Sean Spicer.
Why is that mean?
Well, according to press accounts, Spicer, a Catholic, was truly excited about the opportunity to meet the pope and fully expected that he would meet the pope.
And the president most certainly could have made room for Spicer if he wanted to do so; he, evidently, did not want to do so.
I think Spicer deserved the opportunity.
The poor guy has become a national laughing stock defending Trump. Every Saturday night he has to endure the indignity of Saturday Night Live, where Melissa McCarthy imitates him and mocks him.
He regularly has to endure the indignity of parroting the president’s position in the afternoon and, then, seeing the president completely change that position the next morning.
I don’t feel sorry for Spicer. He wanted the job and press secretaries are paid, in part, to be shills for their bosses.
But, for all that, one would think Spicer deserves at least a bit of loyalty from the president.
Trump seems to feel it is Spicer’s fault that people don’t understand how great a president he is. It isn’t Spicer’s fault. Spicer doesn’t control the press and he doesn’t control the public. Spicer didn’t fire the FBI director, Trump did.
But Spicer gets to take the abuse. Again, that’s part of the job description for a press secretary – or, for that matter, for anyone else on a president’s staff. Other presidents have abused their staffs for not making miracles happen.
But you are supposed to make up for that by little acts of kindness, like letting your press secretary meet the pope.
Meeting the pope is a big deal for a Catholic. Trump is not a Catholic. His wife is not a Catholic. I don’t know how many, if any, of the president’s entourage Wednesday were Catholics.
But Spicer is. It would have meant something to him to meet the pope.
Instead, the president humiliated him. That says a lot about Trump’s character.
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