Sean Spicer, who resigned Friday after a stormy six months as White House press secretary, was tapped to be Donald Trump’s spokesman even though he was not a member of the president’s inner circle.
Spicer, 45, became the public face of the White House after years of working as a Republican Party insider alongside Reince Priebus, another party stalwart who became Trump’s chief of staff.
Spicer’s short-lived tenure as White House spokesman was marked by annoyance from the president over what he perceived as blanket unfavorable media coverage of his fledgling administration.
It also saw increasingly antagonistic relations between the White House and the press corps assigned to cover the president.
His very first White House briefing set the tone as a combative Spicer accused the media of underestimating the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration the previous day.
Spicer then stormed off and refused to take any questions.
As Trump’s spokesman, Spicer faced the added difficulty of representing a president with a penchant for taking to Twitter to get his views across himself.
Spicer’s time at the White House will likely be remembered for Melissa McCarthy’s savage impression of him on comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live.”
Rumors of Spicer’s departure have swirled around the White House for weeks since his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, began regularly standing in for him at the daily briefings with the press.
According to a White House official, Spicer resigned after Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci to be the new communications director — over the objections of Spicer and his ally Priebus.
Spicer was named communications director for the Republican National Committee (RNC) in February 2011 and added the title of RNC chief strategist in 2015.
The Republican Party website credits him with engineering a “dramatic turnaround” at the RNC “at a time when it was deep in debt and had a badly tarnished brand.”
Before joining the RNC, Spicer served as assistant US trade representative for media under president George W. Bush and communications director for the House Republican Conference.
A native of New York, Spicer grew up in Rhode Island. He attended Connecticut College and earned a master’s degree from the Naval War College.
Spicer holds the rank of commander in the US Navy Reserve.
“It’s been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August,” Spicer tweeted.
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