Washington D.C.’s most camera-averse press secretary is now officially neither.
On Friday evening, soon-to-be ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared on Sean Hannity’s eponymous Fox News Channel program, his first on-camera interview since announcing his sudden resignation from the West Wing that morning, and one of his first since late June, when he began fading out of view of daily press briefings like a Soviet-era water commissar.
The interview served as a capstone on one of the briefest tenures behind the press secretary’s lectern in White House history, a tumultuous six-month stint inaugurated with a foam-mouthed rant about crowd sizes and marked by, among other things, deflecting reporters’ questions by hiding behind landscaping and fights about how evil Adolf Hitler was.
Despite the suddenness of his departure, Spicer was all smiles on Hannity’s show, repeatedly praising the president as “very gracious” about his resignation and wishing his successors-slash-usurpers well in the most difficult job in Washington.
“I have no regrets,” said Spicer, who looked as if he had aged six years over the past six months.
“The president obviously wanted to add to the team, more than anything,” Spicer told Hannity. “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.”
“Without me in the way,” said Spicer, “they have a fresh start, so that I‘m not lurking over them.”
Lightly pressed, Spicer admitted that his resignation had not been long in the works—as close as he came to broaching the actual reason behind his resignation: the hiring of former hedge-funder and onetime Hillary Clinton-funder Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director.
Long on the ropes in the Trump White House—due, in part, to a depiction on Saturday Night Live that was popular with almost everyone but the president—Spicer reportedly saw the appointment of a presidential golfing buddy with no communications experience as an indicator that he would be pulling double duty as both press secretary and shadow-communications director.
“After some back-and-forth“ with the master negotiator, Spicer said, the president reluctantly accepted that Spicer’s resignation was necessary to “rev up” the communications office.
“He’s always thinking of others,” Spicer, the Milhouse Van Houten of the Trump administration, said of the president.
Before signing off, and at Hannity’s prompting, Spicer vented about members of the White House press corps, saying that he had felt “increasingly disappointed in how so many members of the media do their job, or rather, don’t do their job.”
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“The majority of folks that are now in the briefing room,” Spicer said, are “not there for the facts,” but are instead concerned with “how do I become a YouTube star.”
Immediately following Spicer’s remote interview was an exclusive from another senior administration official who was reportedly not at all pleased with Scaramucci’s appointment: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Priebus, described by White House insiders as one of the few adults left in the room after multiple house cleanings have left the West Wing populated largely with political novices and hangers-on, smiled thinly as Hannity led the interview by dismissing reports of longstanding tensions between the two.
“You guys are friends!” Hannity said of Scaramucci and Priebus, who may or may not have been nicknamed “Reince Penis” by the incoming communications director. “It’s just so typical!”
“Sometimes a fresh start’s a good thing,” said Priebus. “Sean gets to start fresh, Anthony gets to start fresh, and most importantly, the president gets to start fresh.”