Sean Spicer isn’t finished

Washington ()Sean Spicer has barely moved into his office.

Three weeks after the inauguration, the only things adorning the White House press secretary’s shelves are a framed picture of himself at the podium, a book on Naval Special Warfare (he’s in the Reserve), and a Super Soaker commemorating the infamous “Saturday Night Live” skit in which he, played by an enraged Melissa McCarthy, berated reporters while dousing them with soapy water.
Just beyond these walls, in the briefing room and the restaurants and hotel bars frequented by the town’s journalists and politicos, conclusions about Spicer’s future have already been drawn. The prevailing wisdom is that the combative press secretary is not long for his office, destined to be thrown out in a matter of months or perhaps weeks for failing at what everyone describes as the hardest job in Washington: defending, and pleasing, President Donald J. Trump.
The evidence: Spicer’s boss is the most image-conscious president in modern history, obsessed with his reputation and thus with his press secretary’s performance. He’s also been known to cast out anyone who makes him look bad. Lately, anonymous sources have been telling the press that Trump is disappointed in Spicer, that Trump was embarrassed by the McCarthy skit, even that the White House is already interviewing for a new press secretary (a report that was quickly knocked down).
To a press corps frustrated with Spicer’s aggressive attacks on reporters and tenuous relationship with the facts, the press secretary’s imminent demise is a compelling narrative. But the most senior members of Trump’s staff say the rumors are wrong.
“It’s totally and completely false,” Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, told me during a recent interview in the Roosevelt Room. “The President has full and total confidence in Sean.”

 

 

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