Monday, Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, dodged questions about the murder of Timothy Caughman. He refused to call the racially motivated killing a hate crime. Some say used the questions for the purpose of defending the people he said were blamed too quickly… the people on the right.
In a Monday press briefing, reporters asked Spicer to condemn James Jackson for murdering a black man he’d never met, just because he was black. They wanted the press secretary to speak out about the increase in hate crimes in the country in recent months.
But, instead, he chose to duck and dodge the questions, claiming that the President wants to “unite the country.” He referred to a recent sit-down President Trump had with the Congressional Black Caucus, where the commander-in-chief noted:
“…hate crimes and anti-Semitic crimes of any nature should be called out.”
However, Spicer says:
“There is no room for that in our country.”
But things quickly went off the rails after Spicer was pressed to speak about Caughman’s murder.
Jackson fatally stabbed Caughman last Monday.
Jackson had stalked several black people last Monday night before settling on Caughman, a 66-year-old bottle collector from Jamaica, Queens, who was well-liked by neighbors and delighted in taking pictures of himself with celebrities.
Jackson, 28, traveled to New York from Baltimore with the explicit purpose of killing a black person.
And despite a front-page story in Monday’s Daily News detailing Jackson’s explanation of his motivations, in addition to other media coverage, Spicer said he wasn’t familiar with the situation enough to speak on it.
“Your case in particular, I don’t know the details” he said, before launching into a diatribe against the media for “immediately jumping” on “people on the right” regarding a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers.
Many of the calls were ultimately traced back to a 19-year-old with dual American and Israeli citizenship.
“And it turns out, it wasn’t someone on the right,” Spicer said. “The President, from the get-go said it wasn’t someone on the right.”
“There’s no question back and white, we need to call out all instances,” he added. “But I do think there’s been a rush to judgement on some of the anti-Semitic cases.”
“In that particular case, we saw that the President was right,” Spicer said. “And a lot of the folks on the left were wrong.”