RNC communications head Sean Spicer to become White House press secretary

The president-elect, known for his adversarial relationship with the media, also selected members of his campaign team to top communications posts

Donald Trump has picked his presidential press team, naming Sean Spicer, chief strategist and communications director of the Republican National Committee, as his White House press secretary.

hope hicks trump
Hope Hicks. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Trump named other loyalists for top communications posts: Hope Hicks (director of strategic communications), Jason Miller (director of communications) and Dan Scavino (director of social media).

“Sean, Hope, Jason and Dan have been key members of my team during the campaign and transition,” the president-elect said in a statement.

“I am excited they will be leading the team that will communicate my agenda that will Make America Great Again.”

Spicer worked closely with the RNC chair, Reince Priebus, in an election marked by bitter intra-party opposition to Trump. Both men have been rewarded for such loyalty: Priebus will serve as White House chief of staff.

jason miller trump
Jason Miller. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Using Twitter, Spicer said the appointment was an “amazing honor”.

Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, congratulated the appointees and said in a statement: “We look forward to working with all of them in the months ahead.”

During the campaign, Trump made a point of criticising the press for supposed bias against him, often picking out individual reporters by name and directing crowds at his rallies to boo them.

Perhaps consequently, his political team has not been particularly open with the media. The president-elect has not held a press conference since July, preferring recently to stage campaign-style events in states that voted for him.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump announced that his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, would serve in the White House as counselor to the president.

Kellyanne Conway: Trump’s master of spin

Conway told ABC’S Good Morning America: “This will be a traditional White House in the sense that you will have a great deal of press availability on a daily basis and you’ll have a president who continues to be engaged with the press.”

Last weekend, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump hosted an off-the-record gathering for journalists.

On Monday, the Washington Post published a summary of Jason Miller’s daily transition teleconferences with journalists and his inability to provide answers, given his boss’s predilection for communicating via Twitter instead.

One question in a briefing last week, the paper wrote, concerned Trump’s dispute with the CIA over Russia’s hacking of the presidential election.

Miller, the Post wrote, answered: “I’d let the president-elect’s tweets speak for themselves.”

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
‘I saw you on Sean Spicer’: Trump press briefings become hottest show in town
The White House press secretary is aggressive, antagonistic and flustered. And, in the spotlight of live TV, he can appear to be channeling his pugnacious master

David Smith and Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

02, Apr, 2017 @1:45 PM

Article image
Sean Spicer resigns as Trump press secretary after six months
The controversial spokesman was known for testy exchanges with reporters amid tumultuous tenure as administration’s public face

Sabrina Siddiqui and Ben Jacobs Washington

21, Jul, 2017 @4:07 PM

Article image
Sean Spicer defends inauguration claim: 'Sometimes we can disagree with facts'
Trump’s press secretary said he intends to be honest with the American people as he rehashed false statement on crowd size during first White House briefing

David Smith in Washington

23, Jan, 2017 @10:44 PM

Article image
Inside the White House press room: a rollercoaster of euphoria and nausea
The president is a carnival barker, his press secretary a perpetual high-wire act, the White House briefing room a home of truth seen through funhouse mirrors. This, as George W Bush memorably said, is some weird shit

David Smith in Washington

30, Apr, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Sean Spicer refuses to deny that Trump is taping White House visitors
Spokesman parries questions on tweeted threat to ex-FBI director that raised Watergate echoes, as Democrats demand tapes be given to Congress – if they exist

Ben Jacobs in Washington

12, May, 2017 @7:30 PM

Article image
Sean Spicer: White House is no longer taking questions on Trump and Russia
Press secretary says all questions about investigation will be referred to Trump’s lawyer, as fired FBI director James Comey reported to testify soon

David Smith in Washington

01, Jun, 2017 @6:31 AM

Article image
Talk radio hosts and bloggers may benefit from White House press move
Trump team proposal for new venue which may allow more to ask questions follows president-elect’s latest outbursts against mainstream reporters

Oliver Laughland

16, Jan, 2017 @6:20 PM

Article image
Sean Spicer could be ready to step away from ill-starred podium reign
Reports say the White House press secretary is planning to take a behind-the-scenes role, amid fears Trump is eroding the daily briefing in favour of Twitter

David Smith in Washington

20, Jun, 2017 @7:07 PM

Article image
Sean Spicer: critics of White House Holocaust commemoration 'pathetic'
Trump’s press secretary said the president went ‘out of his way’ to recognize genocide in defense of omitted references to Jewish people and antisemitism

Ben Jacobs in Washington

31, Jan, 2017 @7:35 AM

Article image
'I don't think he misses the White House': Sean Spicer enjoys his post-Trump period
Launching a book and his life outside the White House, the former spokesman stokes strong feelings

David Smith in Washington

29, Jul, 2018 @5:00 AM