White House press secretary Sean Spicer sat at his first official briefing on Jan. 23 that Democrats are "playing political games" by obstructing President Donald Trump's cabinet nomination process.
"It's time for Senate Democrats to stop playing political games with the core functions of government, and to allow President Trump's unquestionably qualified and talented group of Cabinet nominees to get to work on behalf of the American people," Spicer told the press, according to the Daily Caller.
Former President Barack Obama went into office in 2009 with seven of his cabinet nominees confirmed, while the Senate has only confirmed two of Trump's picks, Spicer added.
Senate committees have postponed votes and hearings for some of the nominees, including Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for education secretary, notes the Washington Post. DeVos, a billionaire businesswoman and lobbyist, has promised to resolve any possible conflicts of interest by distancing herself from the corporations with which she is associated, though hours after receiving DeVos' full ethics review, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions postponed the Jan. 24 confirmation vote in order to fully review their findings.
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"Ms. DeVos and her family have incredibly complicated and opaque financial entanglements and staff is now reviewing all of her and her family's holdings that have conflicts with her role as Secretary of Education," said Eli Zupnick, a spokesman for the Committee's top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. "Senator Murray has also not yet received answers to her questions about missing information in Ms. DeVos' Committee financial disclosure. And Committee Democrats have sent Ms. DeVos a number of reasonable questions for the record that she committed to answer and that they expect clear and complete responses to."
At the press conference, Spicer blasted Democrats and the media for presenting a "default narrative" that is both "negative" and "demoralizing," notes CNN. Nonetheless, he vowed to be as open as possible, even if he disagrees with reporters about facts.
"There are certain things that we may not fully understand when we come out," added Spicer. "But our intention's never to lie to you. I'm going to come out here and tell you the facts as I know them. And if we make a mistake, we'll do our best to correct it."