Sean Spicer’s most memorable moments as press secretary


Sean Spicer announced Friday that he was stepping down as White House press secretary after President Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci to be his new communications director.

Spicer’s press briefings were hits on cable television, drawing large audiences and spurring memorable parodies by Melissa McCarthy on “Saturday Night Live.”

Trump said Friday in a statement read by Spicer’s replacement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that he was grateful for the spokesman’s work, noting Spicer’s “great television ratings.”

{mosads}Here are some of the most memorable moments from Spicer’s six months serving as the Trump administration’s top spokesman.

Hitting media over crowd sizes at Trump’s inauguration

Spicer used his first appearance at the White House press briefing podium to blast the news media for their coverage of the crowd sizes at Trump’s inauguration the previous day.

Despite photos showing more people at former President Obama’s inauguration, Spicer claimed that Trump’s inauguration saw “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”

Saying Hitler did not use chemical weapons on his own people

Spicer sparked controversy in April when he said that Adolf Hitler, whose government gassed millions of people during World War II, did not use chemical weapons against his own people.

Spicer was discussing Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of gas on his people amid that country’s civil war. During the briefing, the Trump spokesman also tried to walk back his statement referring to World War II concentration camps as “Holocaust centers.”

“We did not use chemical weapons in World War II. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who did not even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said. “If you are Russia, ask yourself, is this a country and regime that you want to align yourself with?

“I understand your point. Thank you. I appreciate that. He brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. I was saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into town, dropped them into the middle of town. I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.”

Spicer later apologized to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, saying he “mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference.”

Trump’s former campaign chairman played ‘limited role’ in campaign

Spicer attempted to downplay the role of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has ties to pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine, after then-FBI Director James Comey testified before a congressional panel on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Obviously there has been some discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” Spicer said in March.

Manafort served as Trump’s campaign chairman from March 2016 to August 2016.

Saying Trump does not wear a bathrobe

Spicer demanded an apology from The New York Times in February after it published a report including details about Trump, including that he likes to watch television in a bathrobe.

“I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe; he definitely doesn’t wear one,” Spicer said at the time, responding to an anecdote from the story.

Old photos of Trump wearing a bathrobe soon went viral on the internet after his comments. 

Mispronouncing the names of world leaders

The press secretary stumbled while trying to pronounce Assad’s name during a press briefing in February, appearing to say “Bissa al-Ashar” when talking about U.S. efforts in Syria.

Spicer struggled to pronounce Assad’s name again during his interview with Blitzer, and was corrected by the CNN anchor.

“Bashar al-Assad. I know you’ve mispronounced his name a few times, but it’s Bashar al-Assad,” Blitzer said.

Spicer also got the name of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrong, calling him “Joe Trudeau” during a briefing.

Hiding ‘among the bushes’

The Washington Post reported that Spicer was “hidden in the darkness among the bushes,” while Kellyanne Conway and Sanders made television appearances after the president fired Comey in May.

Cutouts of Spicer inspired by the reports soon became internet memes.

Excluded from Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis

Spicer, who is a devout Catholic, was left out of Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican in May.

The meeting included first lady Melania Trump, first daughter Ivanka Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, State Department policy planner Brian Hook, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, security chief Keith Schiller, as well as two other members of Trump’s communications team, Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino.

However, it was widely noticed that Spicer, who said he gave up alcohol for Lent and took part in an interview on Ash Wednesday with ashes on his forehead, was not present.

Telling a reporter to stop shaking their head 

The press secretary caught some flack after telling American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan to stop shaking her head during a briefing in March.

“April, hold on, it seems like you’re hell-bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays,” he said.

“I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again,” he continued.  

Spicer ended up giving Ryan the first question at following briefing. 

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