Sean Spicer returned to the podium Tuesday and while it is far from clear whether the White House press secretary will be in the same role for much longer, his boss was likely pleased by the performance. In what CNN calls a sign that Spicer is now "playing to an audience of one," Spicer repeatedly described the president's actions during his first overseas trip as "historic," "incredible," or "extraordinary." He insisted that the president is "very pleased with his team" and declined to confirm details of the Jared Kushner investigation before attacking the media for publishing "fake news" instead of positive coverage of Trump's trip and abruptly ending the briefing.
Spicer, who kept a low profile during Trump's overseas trip, is expected to be replaced in many daily briefings by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but he wanted to do the Tuesday briefing as a "middle finger" to the press, a Republican source close to the White House tells Politico. "Spicer wanted to do it, and Trump was good with it," the source says. "I'm not sure how often he'll do it from now on, but today was to give the middle finger to you guys." Spicer may return to doubling up as White House communications director with the resignation of Mike Dubke. (Spicer was reportedly upset at being left out of Trump's Vatican visit.)