Sean Spicer Resigns As White House Press Secretary

Cheriss May/SIPPL Sipa USA

Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary Friday morning, the New York Times first reported. Spicer told President Donald Trump he disagreed with New York investor Anthony Scaramucci’s appointment as White House communications director, according to the report.

The resignation, the Times reported, came very shortly after Trump offered Scaramucci the job.

Spicer said it had been “an honor & a privilege” to serve in the position in a statement on Twitter:

Spicer’s debut at the Brady Briefing Room podium was a tumultuous one: In his first appearance before the American people, he berated the press for their coverage of the size of the crowd at President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and angrily — and incorrectly — said that “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”

As of late, Spicer has been largely sidelined at briefings by deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. And briefings have increasingly gone off-camera, with transcripts of exchanges and audio being published only after the briefings end.

The Times reported that Trump asked Spicer to say in the administration, but that “Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to a person with direct knowledge of the exchange.”

The former White House communications director, Mike Dubke, resigned from the post in May, though he did not specify why to reporters.

Scaramucci has been under consideration for a variety of roles in the Trump White House, most recently as senior vice president and chief strategy officer of the Export-Import Bank.

In an earlier episode, when White House chief of staff Reince Priebus reportedly encouraged Scaramucci to withdraw his name as a potential director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, Spicer was curt with reporters asking about the mix-up.

“It wasn’t announced,” he told Politico, referring to the reported job offer for Scaramucci. “I never said that he had a job.”

Scaramucci was a loyal fundraiser for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Spicer was communications director and chief strategist for the Republican National Committee, and came to the White House with chief of staff Reince Priebus, the former RNC president.

The Times’ Maggie Haberman reported Priebus was “furious” at the turn of events.

Axios reported early Friday morning that Scaramucci’s impending appointment “came as a surprise” to Priebus.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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