White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his post Friday morning, taking issue with President Donald Trump’s pick for communications director.
The New York Times was the first to report Spicer’s resignation.
According to the Times, Trump offered the job of White House communications director to New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, a vehement supporter of the president who often defends Trump on cable news. Trump apparently requested Spicer remain on staff, but Spicer made clear his belief that choosing Scaramucci was a major mistake.
In addition to Spicer, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Steve Bannon opposed Scaramucci’s appointment. But both men were kept out of the decision making process, CNBC reported Friday.
Given Scaramucci’s close relationship with the Trump family, he could threaten Bannon and Priebus’ influence over the president.
Until Friday, Spicer had been acting as interim communications director since the previous director, Mike Dubke, resigned from the post in early June.
As for his sudden decision to leave, Spicer told CNN’s Dana Bash early Friday afternoon that he “wanted to give the president and the new team a clean slate.” And in a tweet, he said it has been “an honor and a privilege” to serve as the president’s chief spokesman. He said he will continue in the post “through August.”
Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been filling in for Spicer during White House press briefings, which have in recent weeks been held largely off-camera.