Embattled White House Press Secretary reportedly joked with journalists over cocktails in the Middle East that they had to take a shot of liquor before they were allowed to ask him any work-related questions.
A Business Insider report published Wednesday raises questions about the level of chumminess between White House staff and the reporters whose job it is to cover them.
Spicer reportedly made the comment at a rooftop bar in Jerusalem. Politico quoted an unnamed journalist who traveled with the White House’s international entourage.
“The most we’ve seen of Sean [Spicer] was at a rooftop bar in Jerusalem,” the reporter said. “But he refused to take work-related questions and if you asked him a work-related question, then you had to take a shot.”
No one took him up on the offer, apparently.
Politico wrote on Tuesday that Spicer’s already uneasy relationship with the White House press corps has turned more combative in recent weeks as reports circulate that he may soon be out of a job.
Spicer had a hostile briefing with the press on Tuesday, the first official White House daily briefing since the international trip. One Republican with ties to the administration told Politico that Spicer went out with the intention of battling members of the media who have eagerly reported his downfall.
Spicer did it “to give the middle finger to you guys,” an unnamed Republican said. “Spicer wanted to do it, and Trump was good with it. I’m not sure how often he’ll do it from now on, but today was to give the middle finger to you guys.”