Why Sean Spicer stepped down as White House press secretary

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Sean Spicer
Press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks as television screen displays journalists who participate in the daily briefing via Skype. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Sean Spicer has stepped down as White House press secretary after six months. His resignation came following US President Donald Trump’s move to tap his long-time supporter, Anthony Scaramucci, as communications director.

“I wanted to give the president and the new team a clean slate,” Spicer told CNN’s Dana Bash. In his farewell message, the former public face of Trump administration said there were “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

The New York Times reports that the president asked his press secretary to stay, but Spicer told him that the appointment of Scaramucci was a big mistake. The Wall Street financier replaces Mike Dubke, who resigned from the job in May amid the fallout from primarily Russia-related scandals.

Spices said it was both an honour and privilege to have served the US president. He also complimented Scaramucci, calling him a “tough guy.”

In a Friday statement, Trump said he was grateful for Spicer’s work on behalf of his administration and the American people. The POTUS called him “a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the fake news media” and wished him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities.

The new White House communications director

Scaramucci also praised Spicer for doing a “great job” when he appeared in the White House briefing room for the first time. He told the press Trump was not off track, pointing at some “media bias” against the president.

The new communications director praised Trump, saying he has some of the best political instincts in the world, perhaps in history. He seemed relaxed at the White House lectern as he expressed a desire to improve the Trump administration’s relationship with the press.

Trump’s plan to hire him was first reported by Axios. Scaramucci supported Trump in the general election.

The Guardian reports that his appointment was fought by Spicer and Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to a source close to the White House. Even the chief of staff Reince Priebus was allegedly against his appointment.

But first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner approved Scaramucci’s role in the White House. Trump reportedly hired Scaramucci to cut down on anonymous leaking, but his support for Spicer continues. “Sean leaving doesn’t mean that Sean isn’t going to be out there supporting President Trump and it doesn’t mean that President Trump isn’t going to be out there supporting Sean Spicer,” Priebus said.

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