White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his position Friday afternoon over President Donald Trump’s hiring of a new communications official, according to sources.
Spicer barely lasted six months in the White House, and his tenure was tumultuous, providing much fodder for ‘Saturday Night Live’ comedy sketches.
Here’s a brief look at some of Spicer’s more memorable moments in the White House.
While talking to reporters about Trump’s inauguration, Spicer erroneously proclaimed that the event drew the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration” and incorrectly cited statistics from the Metro transit system.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said in January.
At the time, data was not yet available to back up Spicer’s claim, and former President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew more people to the actual event.
To ban or not to ban?
While discussing Trump’s embattled plan to halt immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, Spicer and Trump seemed to be at odds over what to label the plan.
Spicer insisted that the order was not a “travel ban,” during a White House press briefing.
But Trump had repeatedly called the order a “ban” on Twitter.
When asked why Trump has called it a ban in the past, Spicer blamed it on the press.
“He’s using the words that the media is using,” Spicer said.
While attempting to discredit a New York Times report about Trump’s staff regrouping after a rocky start, Spicer turned the conversation to the president’s bedroom attire.
“When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home,” the Feb. 5 Times report states.
Spicer said Trump was owed an apology because “that story was so riddled with inaccuracies and lies” – including the bathrobe part.
“I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe,” Spicer said. “He definitely doesn’t wear one.”
Spicer had a difficult time pronouncing a foreign prime minister’s name – twice.
During a press briefing in February, Spicer struggled with the pronunciation of Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s name.
Instead of “Turnbull,” Spicer appears to say “Trumble.”
On March 10, nearly five months before he’d resign, Spicer stepped up to his lectern with his American flag pin upside down. With his pin upside down, Spicer was signaling, according to flag protocol, that he was in distress.
Shake it off
Spicer lost his cool during an exchange with American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan during a March press briefing.
Spicer accused Ryan of having an “agenda” as she pressed him on Trump’s issue with Russia.
“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection,” Spicer said.
But he soon quit the jokes and began to criticize Ryan for shaking her head.
“Please stop shaking your head again,” Spicer eventually snapped at her.
Spicer was forced to apologize after he implied Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a worse person than Adolf Hitler – and seemed to forget a portion of history.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said during an April press briefing.
Spicer was asked to clarify, to which he said, “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”
When a reporter mentioned the gas chambers used to kill Jews – including those from Germany – Spicer said he meant Assad used chemical weapons in a different way.
He later apologized and told Fox News he made an “inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison.”
Into the bushes
The day that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Spicer seemingly went out of his way to avoid talking to reporters.
After finishing a television interview on the White House grounds, Spicer would have had to walk past reporters to get back to his office. So instead, he “disappeared into the shadows” and hid “among the bushes,” the Washington Post reported.
The Washington Post originally reported that Spicer was “in the bushes,” but after pushback, amended the article to “more precisely describe [his] location.”
Nevertheless, the idea that Spicer was hiding in or among or near bushes ignited a frenzy of viral memes.