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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”