Sean Spicer, Trump's ex-media chief, applies to join White House press corps

Former press secretary, who now works for Newsmax, applies for membership of White House Correspondents’ Association

Four years after he kicked off the Trump presidency by lying angrily about the size of the inauguration crowd, the former press secretary Sean Spicer has applied to join the White House press corps.

The former Republican party official now hosts a show, Spicer & Co, on the hard-right and conspiracy theory-tinged Newsmax network. He has applied for membership of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

“I thought, why not?” Spicer told Politico. “I cover the White House every day on the show, and I have obviously had a lot to say about the coverage of the White House and the correspondents’ association over the last few years. You’re never gonna effect change if you stay on the sidelines.”

Spicer was front and centre on 21 January 2017, when he appeared in an ill-fitting suit to harangue the press, insisting Donald Trump attracted “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe”.

In fact it was not even close to the crowd for Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, though one official, acting on Trump’s behalf, was later revealed to have cropped photographs in an attempt to prove otherwise.

Trump also claimed it had not rained. It had.

Spicer’s constant battles with the press corps made him a celebrity, lampooned on Saturday Night Live, before he resigned over the short and farcical appointment of Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci, a brash New York hedge fund manager, as communications director.

‘I don’t talk so good’: Melissa McCarthy impersonates Sean Spicer on SNL

Spicer has since become a pro-Trump author, been named a fellow at Harvard and even danced to the Spice Girls on Dancing with the Stars, surviving eight weeks before being voted off.

He told Politico he already had a White House hard pass, guaranteeing access to interview officials, and credentials to cover Congress.

The incoming White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, a former state department spokeswoman, is due to give her first briefing on Wednesday, inauguration day.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden will appear before a limited crowd for the ceremony, the National Mall largely filled with flags.

Politico said the WHCA would decide on Spicer’s application “in the coming weeks”.


Martin Pengelly in New York

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
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

Staff and agencies

22, Dec, 2016 @8:31 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
White House holds press briefing after Sean Spicer quits – as it happened
The White House held its first on-camera press briefing in three weeks, after Sean Spicer resigned as Donald Trump’s press secretary after six months

Tom McCarthy

21, Jul, 2017 @7:23 PM

Article image
Sean Spicer contradicts Trump's Manafort claims in new book
Exclusive: Trump’s former press secretary describes Manafort as impactful and describes the president as ‘a unicorn, riding a unicorn over a rainbow’

Tom McCarthy

12, Jul, 2018 @5:00 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 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
A history of Sean Spicer's gaffes as White House press secretary
Widely condemned claim that Hitler did not use chemical weapons is latest in a long line of dubious remarks and missteps

Alexandra Topping

12, Apr, 2017 @10:54 AM

Article image
Sean Spicer: brash brawler in frontline of Trump's 'war with the media' – period
The White House press secretary used his first briefing to berate the ‘shameful’ press but may find it hard to represent a master who communicates via Twitter

David Smith in Washington

22, Jan, 2017 @9:48 PM

Article image
'I've let the president down': Sean Spicer apology tour continues
Press secretary gave no indication he would resign after stating Hitler, who used gas chambers to kill Jews in the Holocaust, did not deploy chemical weapons

David Smith in Washington

12, Apr, 2017 @4:12 PM

Article image
Melania Trump waxwork unveiled at Madame Tussauds by Sean Spicer
First lady joins Donald Trump at Tussauds in New York – and Spicer says US public ‘haven’t appreciated her political savviness’

Adam Gabbatt in New York

25, Apr, 2018 @6:38 PM