In his first on-camera press briefing in eight days, White House press secretary Sean Spicer acknowledged there are vacancies within President Donald Trump’s administration, but seemingly denied that he’d be leaving his post at the podium.
“I’m right here. … Look it’s no secret we’ve had vacancies, including our communications director, he’s been gone for a while. We’ve been seeking input from individuals to see what ideas they have. We’ve been meeting with potential people who may be of service to this administration, I don’t think that should come as a surprise,” he said. “We’re always looking for ways to do a better job of articulating the President’s message and his agenda and we’ll continue to have those discussions internally.”
When pressed again about his off-camera press briefings and reports of a potential shakeup within the White House communications department — which have included speculation that Spicer could be moved out of his role as press secretary and into a more senior role — he went on the defensive.
“Sure, I mean, what I’ll tell you is, I’ve said it, look, multiple times prior to actually taking the job in December and January. I think I explained that, you know, we’re doing what we can to communicate our message. We have tremendous respect for the First Amendment,” he said. “We’re here early in the morning and really late at night available to all of your questions whether it’s email or in person. This is one avenue to do that.”
He went on to praise the communications department, saying they’ve had “multiple more opportunities for people to interact with the President, according to several folks that have been here for several administrations.”
“I understand you’ll always have issues. You’ll always want more, and that’s fair, I mean, it’s your right,” he said. “And I think you’ll continue to fight for it. … But I do believe holistically, we have a staff that’s very accommodating.”