EMBATTLED White House press secretary Sean Spicer has resigned over the hiring of a new communications director.

Mr Spicer reportedly "vehemently disagreed" with US President Donald Trump offering New York financier Anthony Scaramucci the role of communications director.

Sean Spicer has resigned as White House spokesman.
Sean Spicer has resigned as White House spokesman.


During that briefing Mr Scaramucci took to the podium and announced that Mr Spicer's deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders would take the press secretary role.

Mr Trump thanked Mr Spicer for his service in a statement read by Ms Sanders.

"I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings. Sean will continue to serve the administration through August," he said in the statement.

Mr Scaramucci unexpectedly took the podium to answer questions, during which he thanked Mr Spicer.

"I want to thank personally Sean Spicer not only on behalf of myself, the president, and the administration, but Sean is a true American patriot, he's a military serviceman, he's got a great family, and he's done an amazing job," Mr Scaramucci said.

"Obviously this is a difficult situation to be in and I applaud his efforts and I love the guy and I wish him well."

Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mr Spicer has been under fire since he first took the podium after inauguration day to argue at the behest of Mr Trump that crowds on the day were bigger than for President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Following that, Mr Spicer caused controversy when comparing Adolf Hitler to Syria's Bashar al-Assad, telling journalists at a briefing that "you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."

Asked to clarify the remarks, he added: "I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing."

He stumbled further as he tried to clarify his remark, calling concentration camps, Holocaust centres.

"There was not in the - he brought them into the Holocaust centres - I understand that. But I'm saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns," he said.

Mr Spicer was also ridiculed when a report came out saying that he was "hiding in the bushes" as journalists tried to question him about his boss firing FBI director James Comey. The Washington Post was forced to print a clarification saying that Mr Spicer was "among the bushes" and not "in the bushes" but the damage was done.

Mr Trump was also reportedly unhappy with the way Mr Spicer was lampooned in the media and on Saturday Night Live, especially the fact that a woman - comedian Melissa McCarthy - was chosen to play his press secretary.

In recent weeks White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been doing more of the daily press briefings, although many of them have not been on camera.

Mr Spicer did have strong support from Mr Trump's chief of staff and former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus, who is very close to Mr Spicer.

 

Mr Trump became increasingly impressed with Mr Scaramucci, especially when he forced CNN to almost immediately retract a story based on an anonymous source about Russian meddling in the election campaign.

It led to the resignations of three CNN journalists and wowed Mr Trump.

 

News Corp Australia

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