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Sean Spicer says 'there's a difference' between Irish and Mexican immigrants coming to US

The former White House press secretary also said his Catholic beliefs helped him to forgive Donald Trump’s ‘pussy’ comments.

Sean Spicer
Sean Spicer
Image: Screengrab/RTÉ

SEAN SPICER HAS said there is a difference between Irish immigrants and people from countries like Mexico entering the US.

Speaking on the Late Late Show last night, the former White House press secretary said: “As an Irish America, someone who understands the trials and tribulations that so many Irish folk felt coming to America, I’m very proud of America’s history welcoming immigrants … Immigrants have made our country what it is.”

During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was widely criticised for saying: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Since being elected, the US President has pursued plans to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

When presenter Ryan Tubridy said: “If you replaced the word Mexican with Irish in 1845 and 2018″, Spicer smiled and said: “We wouldn’t be here.”

Tubridy responded by saying: “That’s not funny.” The audience applauded when Tubridy said: “It’s a dangerous thing to be talking about.”

When Tubridy asked Spicer if he saw the correlation, Trump’s former spokesperson said: “There’s a difference.”

He said he “90%” agreed with Trump’s wall policy, stating that a strong border is needed to deal with human trafficking and drug trafficking

“You’re equating a wall with not having immigration. Look, every country has to protect its borders and to make sure the people that are coming in are there for purpose of good, that aren’t there to harm their people,” Spicer said.

Catholic forgiveness

When asked about the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump can be heard saying his fame means he can do “anything” he wants to women, including “grab them by the pussy”, Spicer said: “I think we’ve all said or done things that we regret.”

Obviously I don’t agree with the comments that were made on the tape, I don’t think anybody did. And I think the president, at that time the candidate, said that was not a conversation that he approved of, he apologised for it.

Spicer said Trump had “expressed remorse” and deserved forgiveness.

“I think the one thing about being a Catholic is that we’re all taught about forgiveness… If someone truly asks for forgiveness and you believe they mean it then that’s what we’re all asked Catholics to do.”

‘Every day was an eternity’

Spicer quit his job as press secretary last July in opposition to Trump hiring Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as the White House communications director (Scaramucci himself was fired 10 days later after a profanity-laden interview in which he criticised some of his colleagues was published).

Speaking about his brief tenure in the White House, Spicer said: “Every day was an eternity.

It’s a very demanding job and it’s a very intense place to work, under any president. And with this president you added an element of excitement to each and every one of those days.

Describing Trump, Spicer stated: “He’s very straightforward, you know where you stand at all times with him for good or bad. There’s no beating around the bush, for certain. He has very strong beliefs about what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.”

In a separate interview with the Irish Times World View podcast, Spicer said Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House was “between 30 and 40% accurate”.

The book paints the White House in a state of disarray, accusing Trump of being unfit to lead a country – something the US President has denied, saying he is a “very stable genius”.

The book also quotes Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as describing a meeting between Trump’s son Don Jr and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.

During the podcast, Spicer said he believes Trump will be elected for a second term because the US economy is doing well.

Read: African Union demands apology from Donald Trump for ‘racist’ slur

Read: Steve Bannon steps down from Breitbart News amid Trump row

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Órla Ryan

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