Breaking News Emails
100 days. 42 press briefings. 2,346 questions. 1,983 minutes.
NBC News analyzed all of Sean Spicer’s on-camera press briefings in the first 100 days as President Donald Trump’s press secretary. Here’s what we found:
He Really Dislikes Talking About Nunes, Very Much Enjoys the Budget
Spicer has fielded more than 2,000 questions about a vast number of topics over the past 100 days, but a few issues jump out as the ones he’s most often had to juggle. Atop the list: Possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election and President Trump’s counter-charge that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration.
According to NBC News’ database of all questions asked of Spicer in the formal press briefings since January 21, Russia has been mentioned by reporters nearly 150 times.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has also been named over 100 times in reporters’ questions, but Spicer has only addressed Nunes 45 times in his responses. Nunes stepped aside from the House probe of Russian interference after accusations that he may have mishandled classified information. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who have both come under fire for ties to Russian interests, have been mentioned 49 and 35 times, respectively.
And, of course, Trump’s favorite method of communication has been fodder for inquiry as well. The word “tweet” earned more than 100 mentions from questioners.
In his responses, Spicer has mentioned Russia almost the same amount of times as the reporters grilling him. But he’s been far less likely to invoke wiretapping or discuss Nunes or Manafort by name.
On the other hand, Spicer has mentioned top Trump policy items far more than reporters have. He’s brought up the words “budget” about 60 times more than questioners, and he’s mentioned “Obamacare” and “health care” more than twice as often as the press has.
He Took the Most Questions on Day 3
Of the 2,346 questions Spicer has been asked by members of the press, he took the most questions during his first formal briefing on January 23: 101.
Spicer has been asked an average of 55 questions per briefing over the first 100 days.
On February 2, Spicer took the least amount of questions at 22. The day before, February 1, Michael Flynn said the White House was putting Iran “on notice,” an apparent retaliation for a recent missile launch which the former national security adviser deemed “provocative.”
He’s Still Known to Some as the Guy Who Loathes Dippin’ Dots
Spicer may draw a lot of attention in the news for tense exchanges and missteps during his briefings, but that’s not the only thing people are searching when they Internet stalk the press secretary.
A Tweetstorm rage that has apparently extended over several years and was resurfaced early on in the first 100 days, shows Spicer truly hating on Dippin’ Dots — the flash-frozen ice cream — for self-deeming itself the “Ice Cream of the Future.”
“Dippin Dots Sean Spicer” was part of the top Google searches in the first 100 days.
In addition to the ice cream snack, Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” appearances as a fiery Spicer bubbles up as the no. 1 searched phrase.
“Sean Spicer Hitler” and “Sean Spicer gum” are in the top five.
He's Only Given 10 Formal Briefings Over an Hour Long
The average length of Spicer’s briefings is 48 minutes beginning at around 1 p.m. ET, with the shortest briefing clocking in at just 24 minutes.
Spicer’s first formal briefing was over an hour long, but it wasn’t until over a month later that another briefing surpassed the hour mark. Of the 42 official briefings Spicer has given, eight have broken 60 minutes.
He Really Loves His Adjectives
Behind the podium, Sean Spicer has taken full advantage of the English language, often using an array of adjectives to describe White House positions — and, at times, other, unknown languages (e.g. Lasterday: still not a word).
Some of his choice options include “great,” which Spicer used over 180 times, “strong,” used more than 80 times and “tremendous,” used nearly 40 times.
“Phenomenal,” “extraordinary” and “robust” are also at the top of his personal glossary.
He’s On Par With Past Press Secretaries
Spicer’s 42 press briefings fall in line with the number of briefing given by former press secretaries in the first 100 days.
President Obama’s first term Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave 40 solo briefings in the first 100 days and participated in an additional six with other administration officials. Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush’s press secretary, gave 38 briefings in the first 100 days; Scott McClellan gave an additional three.