WASHINGTON — The White House is mulling a new role for White House press secretary Sean Spicer that would take him away from the podium and into a different role inside the West Wing, a White House official said Monday.
It remains unclear when the change might happen for Spicer, who for months has found himself at the center of discussions about a potential West Wing shakeup; the official said the timing remains fluid.
“It just seems chaotic,” the official said.
The shakeup would cap off Spicer’s tumultuous six-month tenure at the White House podium, which made him not only one of the administration’s most prominent personalities, but also the face of the White House’s unfocused messaging strategy.
“We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “As he did in the beginning, Sean Spicer is managing both the communications and press office.”
Spicer began his tenure as White House press secretary by taking to the White House briefing room and criticizing reporters for the coverage of Trump’s inauguration crowd size. In subsequent months, he would see the statements he made at the White House podium contradicted by the President — raising questions about the administration’s credibility and Spicer’s ability to speak for Trump with confidence.
Spicer’s time at the White House briefing room podium in recent weeks has decreased amid rumors that Spicer would soon transition to a different role, with some suggesting the President was unhappy with Spicer’s performance in the public-facing role.
The daily briefings from the White House podium were frequently broadcast live on the major cable news networks and his combative back-and-forths with reporters soon earned him a lampooning on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” where actress Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of him has become a national sensation.