Sean Spicer resigns as White House press secretary
WASHINGTON - White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday shortly after President Donald Trump decided to name a new White House communications director.
Anonymous sources said Spicer strenuously objected to the decision to put financier Anthony Scaramucci in charge of communications at the White House and told Trump as much. An official announcement of Scaramucci's appointment came Friday afternoon.
A White House official and a top GOP advisor both told CNN Trump asked Spicer to stay on, but he refused to work under the man who would have been his new boss. Two White House officials told CNN the White House was "shocked" by the resignation.
Spicer has had a troublesome relationship with the press and was often agitated on the podium when announcing White House updates. His behavior was notably parodied by Saturday Night Live in impersonations by comedian Melissa McCarthy.
Spicer also grappled with being contradicted by Trump in the president's tweets and found himself defending Trump's statements on social media.
Spicer served a dual role as press secretary and communications director for much of his tenure, but sources say he found doing so "untenable," according to CNN. One source told CNN Spicer feared Scaramucci's lack of experience in the communications field would mean Spicer would essentially be doing both roles again.
Scaramucci is a New York hedge fund manager and was vice president and chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank. His political experience has been more focused on fundraising than communication, CNN said.
In his first statement as communications director, Scaramucci said there has been a "disconnect" between how Trump supporters see and "love" the president and how the press seems Trump.
Scaramucci said Spicer has done a "tremendous job" in a "difficult situation."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take over as White House press secretary.