White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Resigns

Spicer confirms he'll depart in August; Sarah Huckabee-Sanders to take role (updated)
Author:
Updated:
Original:
WhiteHouseBriefingRoomRESIZED.jpg

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned, according to various reports.

UPDATE: At 1:44 p.m. ET Friday (July 21), Spicer tweeted from his @PressSec account that he would continue serving as press secretary through August.

It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS@realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August

— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 21, 2017



At about 2:23 p.m., deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders led a televised briefing from the White House Press Room during which she confirmed Spicer's resignation as well as reports that Trump supporter and New York financier Anthony Scaramucci has been named White House communications director. Scaramucci then announced that Huckabee-Sanders is the new White House press secretary and took questions from reporters.

Scaramucci said he "may" bring back on-camera briefings and he would talk to the president about holding a press conference soon, adding, "At some point we will make sure that that happens." He said he thinks the president has used Twitter effectively to communicate with the public. 

Asked what his view of the news media was, Scaramucci said he "did not like fake news," but pointed out he once hosted Wall Street Week for Fox News Channel, joking that while he was never a journalist, he had "played one on TV." He said he was going to try to make the press shop "a fun place to work" and would work to reduce "tension and anxiety" given that a lot of reporters work in close quarters.

He also said he would report directly to the president, rather than to chief of staff Reince Priebus, though Scaramucci said he would have no trouble working for Priebus. 

Huckabee-Sanders in her remarks said Spicer understood the president wanted to bring in new people, and the now former press secretary felt it was important the team come in with a clean slate.

Spicer, who will give Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity an exclusive interview to air on Hannity at 10 p.m. Friday night, has been notable for his absence at White House press conferences lately, with Huckabee-Sanders handling most of the daily briefings, though lately off camera with only audio feeds.

The press secretary's resignation came Friday morning after President Donald Trump offered Scaramucci the role of White House communications director, an appointment Spicer disagreed with, according to The New York Times. MSNBC said it had confirmed Spicer's resignation with "multiple sources."

Spicer has been an embattled figure over the last six month as he worked to explain the president's barrage of tweets, including slamming the journalists he had to face every day. The press secretary became an object of wicked humor, thanks to Melissa McCarthy's motorized rostrum lampoonon Saturday Night Live.

Spicer had been a spokesman for the Republican National Committee and for the Trump transition team before getting the top spokesperson job.

Related