Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSpicer: Trump’s tweets ‘drive the news’ Trump aide claims ‘huge movement’ of black voters to GOP Moving truck seen parked outside White House MORE’s tweets direct the news cycle.
“[It’s] because that’s what’s going to drive the news,” he said Wednesday during a panel at the University of Chicago, speaking with former Obama adviser David Axelrod. “Whatever he tweets, he is going to drive the news.”
When Axelrod asked if Spicer feels “a certain sense of dread” about Trump’s posts on Twitter, the former RNC strategist responded: “No, but I do look there first.”
Spicer cited Trump’s tweet criticizing House Republicans Tuesday as evidence of the president-elect’s power.
“You saw the House vote the other day,” he told Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for President Obama’s two presidential campaigns and a senior adviser in his White House.
“[Trump] sends a single tweet out, you know, that the House was not focused on tax reform and healthcare and instead was focused on the Office of [Congressional] Ethics,” Spicer said of the OCE. “Immediately, it’s withdrawn.”
The president-elect on Tuesday criticized House Republicans for prioritizing a plan to weaken the independent ethics panel over other major issues.
“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance,” he tweeted.
Facing a deluge of constituent and Democratic backlash, House Republicans reversed course hours later, abruptly withdrawing their proposal to reduce the OCE’s power and put it under the jurisdiction of House Ethics Committee.
The Spicer event was briefly disrupted by a heckler calling on Americans to “go out in the street and organize” against Trump.