Spicer’s resignation, first reported by New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, comes just minutes after Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House communications director.
.@PressSec resigned after vehemently objecting to appointment at 10 a.m. Friday of Anthony Scaramucci as WH Communications director, per SAO
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) July 21, 2017
Spicer later confirmed his White House exit in a statement posted to Twitter, calling his time as press secretary “an honor and pleasure.”
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) July 21, 2017
Scaramucci is a former Wall Street financier and a longtime supporter of Trump. He was previously considered for other positions within the administration but dropped out over ethics concerns about his finances.
The exact reasons for Spicer’s departure remain unclear. His decision followed a meeting between Trump and Scaramucci, according to the Times.
CNN reports that Spicer offered to help Scaramucci’s transition into the White House and clapped when White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus announced he would join the administration. However, reports reveal that he was noticeably upset as news of his resignation broke.
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) July 21, 2017
Spicer was increasingly less present in White House press briefings following the resignation of former Communications Director Mike Dubke, who resigned in mid-May, but he reportedly took on a larger role in the White House communications efforts in Dubke’s absence. Scaramucci’s appointment effectively eliminated Spicer’s role leading the administration’s communications strategy.
Spicer remained one of the most loyal members of Trump’s team throughout a tumultuous first six months in the White House. He rose to newfound prominence, however, thanks to comedian Melissa McCarthy’s impression of him on Saturday Night Live.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update 12:49pm CT, July 21: Added statement from Spicer.