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Sean Spicer: Melissa McCarthy “Cute,” Alec Baldwin “Mean” On ‘SNL’; Cable News Debates

Deadline logo Deadline 2/6/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer this morning continued to tiptoe through the Team Trump minefield, after Melissa McCarthy impersonated him in a Saturday Night Live sketch that upstaged even Alec Baldwin’s latest skewering of President Donald Trump.

“It was cute. Funny,” a subdued Spicer told Fox & Friends‘ co-host Brian Kilmeade of McCarthy’s performance. He then immediately pivoted to say, “I’d rather be talking about the issues the president is so committed to helping Americans on. But it’s part of American culture.”

Earlier, Spicer had been asked by Extra about his reax to the skit. McCarthy, he said, “needs to slow down on the gum chewing. Way too many pieces in there,” also suggesting that McCarthy “could dial back” a bit. Here, too, Spicer was careful to draw the reporters’ attention back to his boss, saying Baldwin’s impersonation of Trump was not funny but “mean” and added that Trump’s pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly had gone “great.”

Spicer epitomizes what is happening to politicos who have aligned themselves with our new POTUS, and SNL lampooned it brilliantly, GOP strategist S.E. Cupp told CNN. The press secretary is “a normal, professional, political operative,” she said.

“But, under Trump, as so many have, he’s really taken on a lot of Trump qualities: that adversarial relationship with the press, twisting of words, that aggressive tone. A lot of people surrounding Trump, who came from Washington, have taken on his rhetorical flourishes and his company line. When everyone starts acting like a character in a Trump play, that’s when you have this ripe climate for that kind of creative parody.”

She noted too that Spicer, while kind to McCarthy, was very careful to ding SNL over Baldwin’s performance. “He’s toeing Trump’s company line that SNL cannot be mean to President Trump,” Cupp said.

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