Sean Spicer: Scaramucci’s Disastrous New Yorker Interview ‘Proved My Point’

Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's oft-beleaguered press secretary, stands in the doorway to the Palm Room at the White House in Washington during renovations to the West Wing, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Appearing on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer continued to defend his former boss President Donald Trump.

But not the former communications director who only lasted 10 days in the White House.

While Spicer formally resigned from his position the day Anthony Scaramucci was hired as communications director, he didn’t officially leave the White House until the end of August. When asked if he resigned because he was feuding with Scaramucci, Spicer said those allegations weren’t true. He said his rationale for leaving “wasn’t personal.”

It wasn’t like I had anything against Anthony. I didn’t feel — Anthony has been very successful in business, he’s made a ton of money, but I didn’t feel as though he had the qualifications or the background to work in the communications office,” he said. “And my view was if I’m going to have to partner with somebody that I don’t believe had the skill set to execute the job, then it was incumbent on me to either step aside or make my voice known.”

He said he told the President that and decided to step down from his role.

Just 10 days later, Scaramucci was ousted from the White House after he gave an obscenity-laced interview to the New Yorker. Kimmel asked if Spicer was “cackling like a maniac” when he read the article, which Scaramucci clearly didn’t realize was on the record.

“I don’t think it’s right to relish in somebody else’s problems, just as a person I don’t think thats right, but again I think it proved my point and that to do this job is one in which I think you have to have the proper background and training,” he said.

In a mostly gentle interview, Kimmel pressed Spicer on issues like his first briefing as press secretary, in which Spicer exploded on reporters for asking about the inauguration crowd size — Spicer admitted “I don’t think it was probably the best start” — and his outlandish comments early on in his tenure at the White House.

When asked about whether he thought it was “dangerous to delegitimize the press” Spicer said he thought it was a “two-way street.”

He said journalists are constantly painting Republicans and conservatives in a bad light.

“If we don’t want to lump every journalist into the same thing (as fake news) then don’t lump every Republican and conservative into the same box,” he said, adding he thinks “we could all use a dose” of “taking down the temperature” when it comes to the relationship between reporters and the White House press office.

“I think there are some areas that could deserve a reset, hopefully, I think Sarah (Huckabee Sanders) has done a really phenomenal job of really trying to take the tone down and get back,” he said.

Watch the full interview below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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