White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on March 13 that President Donald Trump can always be trusted to tell the truth, unless he is cracking a joke.
"If he's not joking, of course," Trump can be counted on to speak truthfully and accurately, Spicer said during his daily press briefing, according to Talking Points Memo. "Every time that he speaks authoritatively, that he speaks, that he's speaking as President of the United States."
The comment came in response to a series of questions from NBC News' Peter Alexander, who asked the press secretary if people can always assume that the president's comments are "real" and not "phony."
Alexander was following up on a statement Spicer made on March 10 regarding a February jobs report that revealed a spike in employment during the 45th president's first full month in office. Trump had called numbers from earlier reports "phony" in the past, so a reporter asked if he believed that the latest report "was accurate and a fair way to measure the economy."
"I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly," Spicer answered on March 10. "'They may have been phony in the past, but it's very real now.'"
At the March 13 press conference, Alexander referenced the jobs report comment, asking Spicer how people "can believe that it's real when you just told us that it was phony but now it's real."
"I did not tell you that," Spicer said.
Press members have hounded Spicer about the administration's truthfulness since Trump took office in January. On March 8, one reporter asked Spicer if Trump had "a credibility problem" because of the president's comments about the Obama administration and his allegations that the Obama administration wiretapped him during his presidential campaign, according to Business Insider.
Spicer said he did not.
"Playing with our nation's national security is not something that should be taken lightly under this administration," he added.
The press secretary also commented on the repeated questioning of whether or not Trump's campaign worked with Russia to secure him an election victory.
"I think all these stories that keep coming out about the president and his links to Russia, it continues to be the same old, same old, played over and over again," said the former Republican National Committee communications director. "The president has made clear that he has no interest in Russia, and yet a lot of these stories that come out with respect to that are fake."