“He was very supportive,” Spicer told Good Morning America‘s Paula Faris of the president during an interview aired on Thursday. “He thought I did a great job. It was very reassuring.”
Many were shocked to see the former White House press secretary appear onstage alongside host Stephen Colbert at the 2017 Emmy Awards. Spicer took to the stage with a podium and cracked a joke about the crowd size, saying, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world.”
Social media users bashed Emmys producers for their decision to include Spicer, and many accused Spicer of using the Emmys to repair his image.
“I feel very good with my image. I’m very happy with myself,” he told Faris of the claim. “I am able to go out and explain a lot of things now, but I’m not on a tour. I’m out having some fun.”
Critics on social media, including several reporters and White House correspondents, said it was “disgraceful” to give Spicer a platform after he “lied to the American people” from his West Wing lectern in the White House press briefing room. And a Washington Post headline pleaded: “Please don’t normalize him.”
However, Spicer held that he did not “knowingly” lie during his time in Trump’s administration.
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“I don’t think so. I haven’t cheated on my taxes,” he quipped. “I’ve not knowingly done anything to [lie] — no.”
“I’ve made mistakes,” he added of his rocky relationship with the press. “There’s no question, I think we all do. Some of them I’ve tried to own very publicly. And in some cases there were things that I did, until someone brought it up, I said, ‘Gosh, I didn’t realize that that was a mistake. I’m sorry about that.’ ”
When it comes to one of his most controversial “alternative facts” — his inaugural crowd-size claim — Spicer said he could have “had more facts at hand.”
“I think it might have been better to be a lot more specific with what we were talking about in terms of the universe and not focus so much on photographic evidence,” he said.
Spicer resigned from his position as White House press secretary in July.