Washington, United States | AFP | White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned on Friday after a tumultuous six months in the spotlight.
Here are five memorable moments from Spicer’s tenure — one of the shortest ever for a White House spokesman:
– ‘Largest audience’ ever –
Spicer’s stint as White House spokesman got off to a rocky start.
Just a day into Trump’s presidency, he summoned White House reporters and proceeded to accuse them of deliberately underestimating the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said.
“These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”
Spicer ended the briefing — which left many members of the White House press corps shocked — without taking questions.
Aerial photos and other crowd estimates clearly determined that the audience for Barack Obama’s two inaugurations was larger than Trump’s.
– Hitler and Assad –
Spicer was forced to apologize in April after seeming to favorably compare Adolf Hitler’s actions during the Holocaust to the atrocities carried out by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
“You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said, apparently forgetting the use of poison gas in the Nazi concentration camps.
A contrite Spicer appeared on television within hours and apologized.
“I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive comment about the Holocaust and there is no comparison,” he told CNN.
“For that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”
– Joe Trudeau –
Spicer had a penchant for mangling names and phrases. Two of his most notable goofs came when he referred to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “Joe Trudeau” and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as “Prime Minister Trumble.”
– Briefing in the bushes –
After FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump in May, reporters searched desperately for Spicer with questions about the shock dismissal. Spicer eventually briefed a small group of reporters off-camera among bushes on the White House grounds, according to an account in The Washington Post. The incident sparked myriad memes on the internet of Spicer “hiding in the bushes.”
– ‘Stop shaking your head’ –
Spicer was involved in a testy exchange with a veteran reporter, April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, in March accusing her of having an “agenda” and telling her to “report the facts.” Spicer then went on to condescendingly tell Ryan “stop shaking your head.”