Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer squashed all speculation about his resignation Friday, revealing his reasons for quitting and that President Trump did not want him to go.
Spicer, who has had a tumultuous tenure in his position as the Trump administration’s spokesperson, frequently clashing with the media in White House press briefings, apparently resigned in protest of the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director.
“I just thought it was in the best interest of our communications department, of our press organization, to not have too many cooks in the kitchen,” Spicer told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday, adding that Trump had been “very gracious” throughout the process.
“He wanted to bring some new folks in to help rev up the communications operation, and after reflection, my decision was to recommend to the president that I give Anthony and Sarah a clean slate to start from,” he said.
Spicer, who served as chief strategist and communications director of the Republican National Committee during the 2016 election campaign, was clear that Trump did not ask him to resign.
“After some back and forth, he understood that the offer that I was making was something that was in the best interest of this administration,” he said. “I thanked him for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to watching Anthony and Sarah do a tremendous job.”
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted Friday to replace Spicer. Sanders had taken over the press briefings recently and made them off-camera events, sending many liberal journalists like CNN’s Jim Acosta into a meltdown.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus reaffirmed that Spicer’s exit was on good terms.
“Sean leaving doesn’t mean that Sean isn’t going to be out there supporting President Trump and it doesn’t mean that President Trump isn’t going to be out there supporting Sean Spicer,” Priebus told Hannity later on Friday’s “Hannity.”
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“I’ve seen how the world around the president works and it’s very healthy and he cares about his people.” he added