ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl is worried that the health of President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, may be at risk because the spokesman “spends so much time angry.”
In an interview with Politico published Monday, the journalist said he is concerned Spicer is under a lot of pressure to perform.
“You’ve seen Sean Spicer in action from the podium. Sean’s pretty much — he is the way he is, at least in the sense he’s taken over. He’s tough,” Karl said. “I worry a little about his health because he spends so much time angry at the podium, and he’s often angry when he’s not at the podium.”
“But he’s under enormous pressure,” he continued. “I don’t think anybody has had a harder job to do. Look at previous White House press secretaries. He’s got such a difficult job.”
Trump has, according to CNN, expressed disappointment in Spicer’s performance as press secretary. Last week, the White House ramped up its search for a communications director in hopes of lightening the load on the embattled White House spokesman.
An unnamed source told CNN that it was Reince Priebus, the president’s chief of staff, who — “against Trump’s instincts” — pushed Spicer for the press secretary gig. Trump “regrets it every day and blames Priebus,” the source said.
In addition to his performance, it doesn’t appear Trump likes Spicer’s wardrobe, either. According to Axios, a new Washington beltway outlet, Trump asked an aide one day: “Doesn’t the guy own a dark suit?” The next day, Spicer, who often wears gray suits, was in black.
The Washingtonian reported Friday that the Trump administration is considering Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL who was an early and vocal supporter of the Republican president, for press secretary. The White House, however, has denied such reports.
“[Higbie] hasn’t interviewed for anything. He spoke to a few people to say he’d like to help. That’s it,” an administration spokesperson said.
This comes on the heels of an apparent flub last week by Spicer. Following Nordstrom’s decision to pull Ivanka Trump’s brand from its stores, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway went on national television and urged people to buy the president’s daughter’s products.
When asked about the issue, Spicer told reporters that Conway “has been counseled” on the matter. Trump, according to a report from the Associated Press, did not like the press secretary’s word choice. He reportedly said Spicer made it sound like Conway was in trouble.