White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reportedly spent approximately three hours yesterday with his palm on the window of his White House office looking despondently out over the rose garden.
Rumors have been floating in recent days that Spicer is looking for a replacement, and that his time in the Trump Administration may be coming to an end.
“The stress has been really getting to him,” said one White House staffer who requested anonymity in order to speak freely about White House intrigues. “President Trump has been very unhappy with him, and humiliating him daily in meetings and even when they pass each other in the hallway. It’s so bad that when Sean is walking in the hallways and sees Trump, Sean scurries into the nearest office, locks the door, and won’t come out until the President’s next schedule appointment begins.”
Another White House staffer expressed sympathy, noting that the President’s unconventional Twitter usage has made Spicer’s job virtually impossible.
“I don’t think Sean has been sleeping much,” the second staffer said. “He works really hard all day trying to control the narrative of the President’s daily controversies, and then the President takes to Twitter at 4am and says something that completely negates what his communications staff spent all day saying. I don’t know how anyone could possibly blame Sean.”
The news comes amidst the administration’s souring relationship with the White House press corps, with new rules limiting journalists’ ability to record the briefings and even participate.
“This administration is taking unprecedented actions against America’s free press,” said White House correspondent Julia Meadows of CNN. “The latest crime against the First Amendment is the White House’s refusal to take any questions unless they are submitted in writing before the briefing begins. The press secretary begins every briefing with a hand-written note from the president himself telling all of us journalists how we are the worst of the worst and lower than garbage. It’s gotten outrageous.”
Much of the blame has been centered on Mr. Spicer, as Trump’s liaison to the press, but Spicer maintains that the administration has done much to contribute to a transparent presidency. Objectively this is untrue, particularly compared to previous administrations, but the strain of absent executive credibility is clearly weighing heavily on Mr. Spicer.
“Sean shuffles to and from the podium in the briefing room with his head down to his chest looking at the ground,” said a White House staffer in the communications department. “He doesn’t go out for beers anymore with the rest of the staff, and a few times a day you can hear him audibly crying in his office even when the door is closed.”
Mr. Spicer declined to comment for this story.
(Photo courtesy of Eric Salard.)