In the wake of his surprise cameo at the Emmys on Sunday, Sean Spicer is ready to admit he was wrong. In a new interview with the New York Times’ Glenn Thrush and Dave Itzkoff, the former White House press secretary said he “absolutely” regrets berating reporters for saying crowds at President Barack Obama’s inauguration were bigger than those at President Donald Trump’s in January.
In his Emmys cameo, Spicer poked fun at the crowd-size controversy. Toward the end of Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue, the host wondered whether there was any way to judge the size of the audience watching him. Colbert asked, “Sean, do you know?” At which point Spicer came out on stage with a podium like that used by Melissa McCarthy in her Saturday Night Live impression. He then declared, “This is the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world.”
After the show, Spicer told EW that he had fun doing the appearance, even though “it’s not exactly a Republican crowd.” The cameo will likely be a help to Spicer as he negotiates his new options. As Thrush and Itzkoff note, “Mr. Spicer was also using the Emmys to burnish his image before a television industry audience that he may need to cultivate as he seeks speaking engagements and paid television appearances in his post-White House life.”
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However, many attendees and viewers of the Emmys weren’t pleased with his appearance. Actor Jason Isaacs summed up many of his peers’ views in an Instagram post: “Hoping to forget politics for one night and bask in other people’s glory at the #Netflix #Emmys party and who do I spot at the bar late at night but the poisonous purveyor of lies #SeanSpicer,” he wrote. “What were the Emmys thinking celebrating this modern day Goebbels, who was the thuggish face of Orwellian doublespeak just moments ago?”
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See more reactions to Spicer’s cameo here.