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Spicer threatens legal action over AP report

The Hill logo The Hill 7/29/2018 Jacqueline Thomsen
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Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is threatening to take legal action against the Associated Press over a report from the wire service about an incident on his book tour.

Spicer's attorney Michael J. Bowe said in a statement Saturday night that the AP "recklessly republished a categorically false accusation about Sean Spicer."

"The claim is a lie. Absent an immediate retraction, Mr. Spicer will take legal action Monday," Bowe said.

The AP report, published Saturday, documented an incident at Spicer's book signing in Middletown, R.I., on Friday during which a black man claiming to be a former classmate of Spicer's at Portsmouth Abbey School accused Spicer of using a racial slur.

A publicist for Spicer told the AP that the former press secretary was "taken aback" by the "outrageous" claim.

Regnery Publishing publicist Lauren McCue said Spicer "can't recall any incident" like the one Lombard described.

Video of the encounter published by NewportRI.com shows the man, identified as Alex Lombard, approaching Spicer at event.

"Sean, I was a day student at [Portsmouth] Abbey, too, with you," Lombard said.

"Hey," Spicer replies. "Yes, how are you?"

You don't remember that you tried to fight me?" Lombard said. "But you called me a [n-word] first."

The video then shows security escorting Lombard out of the event.

"I was 14 then. I was a scared kid then, Sean. I'm not scared to fight you now," Lombard can be heard yelling.

Spicer is currently on tour promoting his new book, "The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and the President," about his time in the White House. The former aide left the White House last summer.

This isn't the first incident Spicer has faced on his book tour: A man interrupted a Wednesday event in New York City, yelling that Spicer is a "real piece of garbage."

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