the election, people would think Russia helped him win, taking away from what he had accomplished.74 Sean
Spicer, the ﬁrst White House communications director, recalled that the President thought the Russia
politics/trump—press-conference- transcripthtml. 73 Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 7; Hicks 3/13/18 302, at 18; Spicer
purpose of the Russia investigation was to delegitimize his presidency). 74 Hicks 3/13/18 302, at 18. 75 Spicer
Department of Justice Spicer denied that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions, basing those
On January 23, 2017, Spicer delivered his ﬁrst press brieﬁng and stated that he had spoken with Flynn
‘37 Sean Spicer, White House Daily Brieﬁng, C-SPAN (Jan. 23, 2017). '38 Yates 8/15/17 302, at 4; Axelrod
unlikely to be prosecuted, and the President had determined that the issue with Flynn was one of trust.213 Spicer
302, at 9; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 10. 2‘3 SCR004m00600 (2/ 16/ 17 Email, Burnham to Donaldson). 2” Sean
Spicer, White House Daily Brieﬁng, C-SPAN (Feb. 14, 2017).
reason for Comey’s termination.465 In an unplanned press conference late in the evening of May 9, 2017, Spicer
evening and the next morning, White House ofﬁcials and spokespeople continued to maintain that the 455 Spicer
Trump ﬁred Comey, White House staff scrambled to explain why, Washington Post (May 10, 2017) (quoting Spicer
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