Spicer's Public Role May Be Downsized: Sources

They say Trump doesn't want him behind the podium as much
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2017 12:17 PM CDT
Spicer's Public Role May Be Downsized: Sources
White House press secretary Sean Spicer listens as National Security Adviser HR McMaster speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Expect to see a lot less of Sean Spicer. Sources tell Politico the White House press secretary will see his public role scaled way back after President Trump returns from his first foreign trip as president. They say Trump has come to "dread" Spicer's daily press briefings, which often get combative, and has told aides he no longer wants Spicer to be the one "publicly defending and explaining" his message, as Politico notes. No formal plan is yet in place, and sources say Trump's mind is not yet made up, but that he's considering downsizing Spicer's role in the public eye and may also undertake a shakeup of the entire communications team. The New York Daily News points out that Trump suggested last week on Fox he should do the press briefings himself every other week.

Spicer will likely no longer do the daily on-camera press briefing, and sources say the administration is looking to do fewer on-camera briefings overall. A senior White House official tells Politico that deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will likely be seen behind the podium more often, but Spicer will hold onto a senior administration role. Spicer himself has said that he'd prefer not to be behind the podium as much, but Politico points out that amid a growing number of scandals plaguing the Trump administration, the president is increasingly using the communications department as a scapegoat, complaining about how the team has responded to the scandals. As for the idea of Fox News anchor Kim Guilfoyle taking over for Spicer, though, Politico's sources shoot down those rumors. (More Sean Spicer stories.)

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