An Indian-American woman confronted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at an Apple store over the weekend, asking if he is a criminal and telling him that he “works for a fascist.” She recorded the entire interaction.
Spicer visibly kept his cool, although clearly annoyed. The woman, Shree, took to Medium on Sunday to explain her behavior.
“Very early on, I knew that Donald J. Trump was dangerous for America and had fascist tendencies. His views on people of color, immigrants and Muslims are abhorrent. His actions against women are despicable.His willful disregard for our Constitutional rights is well, fascist,” she wrote. “I was devastated by the election but I have channeled my anxiety, sadness, and anger into action.”
She continued: “I thought it was high time I get my screen fixed and after booking an appointment, I looked up to see Sean Spicer. I Googled him to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me.”
Shree wrote that it was an “enormous opportunity” to ambush Spicer, but admitted that she was “quite nervous and wanted to come up with more cogent questions but did not have time to do so.”
Spicer told Shree that it’s “such a great country that allows you to be here.” Spicer’s comment can be interpreted as a reference to Shree being allowed to approach him in such a manner in a public place. However, Shree saw things differently.
“That is racism and it is an implied threat. Think about the sheer audacity of Mr. Spicer to say that to my face with a smile, knowing that he that he is being recorded on video and the position of power he holds in our government,” she wrote. “I am still stunned by the boldness of having my citizenship threatened on camera.”
She continued: “It’s one thing to have a Twitter egg tell say you do not belong in America, it is quite another to have the Press Secretary of the United States of America do so.”
Spicer was asked about the situation during Monday’s White House press briefing.
“I interact with individuals all day long, 99 percent of them are pleasant, even with people who may not agree with our philosophy,” Spicer said. “It’s a free country. The beauty of it is that people can act how they want.”
Spicer has become a household name after being mockingly portrayed by Melissa McCarthy on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” He even poked fun at himself during Friday’s White House press conference when he joked about attacking reporters with the podium, which McCarthy often does during her late-night impersonation.