This was Spicer's exchange with Yahoo News correspondent Hunter Walker:
WALKER: CNN reportedly declined to interview Kellyanne Conway on Sunday because of questions about her credibility. Is the White House willing to offer alternative representatives to networks that refuse to work with specific spokespeople?SPICER: I, I, well, frankly, I think that, that my understanding is they retracted that, they’ve walked that back or denied it or however you want to put it. I don’t care. But I think Kellyanne is a very trusted aide of the president. I think to — for any characterization otherwise is insulting. I don’t think — if they choose not to work with someone, that’s up to them. But I think we’re going to keep putting out key leaders in this administration, including Kellyanne, that can articulate the president’s policies and agenda.
Before we move on, let's just recognize the grade-A trolling in “alternative representatives.”
Okay. Now, let's get to CNN's response:
Perhaps Spicer will eventually desensitize everyone who watches these briefings, but for now his brazenness continues to amaze. How could he possibly have thought he would get away with citing a retraction that does not exist? How much chutzpah does it take to say something false about a news outlet that can be refuted so easily?
Notice, too, that Spicer used a straw-man argument to defend Conway, who was turned away by CNN after she cited a “Bowling Green massacre” that does not exist.
“Kellyanne is a very trusted aide of the president,” Spicer said, adding that “any characterization otherwise is insulting.”
The issue, of course, is not whether Conway is one of President Trump's most trusted aides. Trump's esteem for Conway had nothing to do with CNN's decision. The problem, which Spicer did not address, is that CNN questioned whether Conway would shoot straight in an interview.
Nevertheless, the White House will continue to dispatch her as a spokeswoman, Spicer said. And Conway was back on CNN later on Tuesday, speaking with Jake Tapper on "The Lead."
Tapper and Conway did not directly address decisions to book her or not, though Conway did make an oblique reference to be "attacked" by a network "familiar to you" when Tapper pushed back hard against Trump's efforts to discredit the media, specifically the president's false charge that the press deliberately does not cover terrorist attacks.