Sean Spicer’s eventful six months
From day one, it was clear that Sean Spicer was in for a rocky ride as President Donald Trump’s press secretary. Period.
Here are some moments in Spicer’s eventful six months as White House press secretary.
THE INAUGURATION CROWD
Spicer’s first press conference set out markers for how far he was willing to go to defend Trump when he embraced the new president’s false claim his inaugural crowd stretched from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.
“It looked like a million, million-and-a-half people,” Trump had said at the CIA during his first full day in office.
That wasn’t true but Spicer went one better, without evidence: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe.”
Actor Melissa McCarthy strode out to the Saturday Night Live version of the White House briefing room and hollered her way through a faux media conference.
“I know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start,” she yelled at the pretend press corps on the NBC sketch show. “When I say rocky start, I mean in the sense of Rocky the movie because I came out here to punch you. In the face.”
ON HITLER, NAZIS, BASIC HISTORY
In April, Spicer was asked about Russia’s potential complicity in a chemical attack in Syria. He answered with a comparison to Nazi Germany that defied history.
“You had someone who was as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said.
He made a mangled attempt to fix that historical blunder in which he made an unfortunate reference to the Nazis’ use of a “Holocaust centre”.
Spicer later made a second run at setting things right, emailing reporters: “In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust.”
Spicer huddled with White House staff near, or possibly among, some shadowy bushes for a few minutes on the chaotic day Trump abruptly fired FBI director James Comey.
He emerged and promised to brief reporters as long as he was not filmed and the television lights were turned off. He then answered questions, in the vicinity of some bushes, in near-darkness.
The notion of Spicer hiding in the bushes became a subject of Twitter fascination and new material for McCarthy’s spoofs.