May 11, 2017

Sean Spicer: A three-act play

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Act I: WashPost's Jenna Johnson on Tuesday night, "After Trump fired Comey, White House staff scrambled to explain why": "As Democrats and Republicans began to criticize and question the firing with increasing levels of alarm, Spicer and two prominent spokeswomen [Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway] were suddenly speed-walking up the White House drive to defend the president on CNN, Fox News and Fox Business."

"After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these [TV standup] sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged."

Act II: "Spicer in the bushes" trends hard: "Someone mashed Sean Spicer with that GIF of Homer Simpson hiding in the bushes" ... "11 Hilarious Memes of Sean Spicer Literally Hiding in Bushes" ... "Spicer Hid in the Bushes ... and the Internet Roasted Him in Seconds" ... "A Sean Spicer In The Bushes Meme-Fest" ... "17 Of The BEST Sean Spicer Hiding In Bushes Memes The Internet BLESSED Us With Today."

Act III: WashPost "EDITOR'S NOTE" added to Jenna's dispatch: "This story has been updated to more precisely describe White House press secretary Sean Spicer's location late Tuesday night in the minutes before he briefed reporters. Spicer huddled with his staff among bushes near television sets on the White House grounds, not 'in the bushes,' as the story originally stated."

The takeaway: You've been POSTED!

So NEVER MIND, "Saturday Night Live" writers' room!

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:00 a.m. ET: 5,591,067 — Total deaths: 350,458 — Total recoveries — 2,287,152Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:00 a.m. ET: 1,681,212 — Total deaths: 98,916 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.