Sean Spicer is rumored to be President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for press secretary.
This position will be particularly important in the Trump administration, as the president-elect has had a rocky relationship with the media to say the least. At virtually every one of his rallies throughout the campaign, Trump called members of the press disgusting and dishonest, pointing at them and encouraging his supporters to boo and hiss. Trump has also been dodging the media in recent months, and he has not held a press conference in 142 days even though he once criticized Hillary Clinton for avoiding press conferences. Many of the interviews Trump has given have been with Sean Hannity, who himself says he is not a journalist and who openly supported Trump for president.
So who is Sean Spicer, the man who may become the one to speak to the press on behalf of President Trump? Spicer is currently the communications director of the Republican National Committee, and he appears on television virtually every single day in order to defend Donald Trump and refine his message. Spicer is 45 years old, and he was originally born in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Here’s everything you need to know about Sean Spicer, the potential next White House press secretary.
1. His Wife Is a Former TV Producer & Worked in the Bush White House
Sean Spicer is married to Rebecca Miller Spicer, who herself used to have a job in the White House. She has experience in television, and before beginning her current job, she worked as the associate director of communications in the George W. Bush administration, being responsible for producing key televised events like bill signings, according to Spicer’s profile on the National Council for Adoption website.
Prior to this, Spicer worked in television news, spending many years producing the evening news broadcast for an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She was working this job when she married Sean on on November 13th, 2004 at the St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. Her other TV jobs have included positions at KTRK in Houston, WTNH in New Haven, WVTM in Birmingham, and CNN in Atlanta.
At the moment, Rebecca Miller Spicer is the senior vice president of National Beer Wholesalers Association, which represents the interests of beer distributors.
Miller has two bachelor’s degrees under her belt, the first in studio art and art history from the University of the South, and the second in telecommunications from Indiana University, according to The New York Times.
The Spicers currently reside in Alexandria, Virginia with their two children.
2. He Is a Member of the Navy Reserves
Outside of politics, Sean Spicer has a background with the Navy.
After graduating from Connecticut College, Spicer joined the Navy Reserves in 1999, and he currently holds the rank of commander. In addition, in 2012 he received a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport.
In his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, Spicer serves as director of the Navy Public Affairs Center Atlantic Reserve Unit, according to Leadership Institute. He was the media planner for joint exercises in Guam, Germany, Hawaii, Virginia and Sweden.
3. He Was a Free Trade Advocate in the Bush Administration
If Sean Spicer is hired as Donald Trump’s press secretary, it will not be his first time in a White House job.
In fact, Spicer worked in the George W. Bush administration from 2006 to 2008, with his formal title being Assistant United States Trade Representative for Media and Public Affairs. Essentially, Spicer was responsible for being Bush’s communicator on issues related to trade, often speaking to international media outlets on behalf of the president. Spicer logged 440,000 miles during his time in this position, according to GOP.com.
During this time, Spicer was an advocate for free trade, which is at odds with President-Elect Trump’s position on the issue today.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Spicer acknowledged the contradiction there but compared his situation to a lawyer who has to defend a criminal, implying that he still disagrees with Trump when it comes to trade policy.
“There are doctors who help people who have done bad things, there are lawyers who defend bad people,” Spicer told The Washington Post. “I don’t think it’s unique to my profession.”
4. He Was Once Critical of Donald Trump’s Comments About Immigrants & John McCain
Like almost every single Republican in Washington who is now fully behind their president-elect, Sean Spicer was once critical of Donald Trump.
When Trump launched his campaign by saying that many undocumented immigrants are rapists and murderers, the Republican party struggled to undue the damage these comments caused. Although Spicer had to be diplomatic and did not directly call out Trump, he did imply that comments like these were damaging to the GOP brand.
In a conversation on CNN about Republicans’ attempt to appeal to Latinos, Spicer said, “I mean, as far as painting Mexican Americans with that kind of a brush, I think that’s probably something that is not helpful to the cause.”
He was more directly critical of Trump when the candidate disparaged Senator John McCain, saying that he is not a war hero because he was captured.
Spicer said in a statement at the time, “Senator McCain is an American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most can imagine. Period. There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”
Trump never apologized or expressed any regret for the John McCain remarks.
Finally, after the first Republican primary debate, Spicer said that Trump needed to actively work on getting his language under control.
“…He needs to understand that he’s seeking the presidency of the United States now, and that words do matter,” he said in an interview on Today.
5. He Has a Contentious Relationship With the Media
If Sean Spicer becomes the man to lead the daily press briefing, you can expect that process to be quite contentious, as he is known for being very combative in his conversations with the media.
That will be clear to anyone who follows him on Twitter because like Donald Trump himself, Spicer often criticizes the press on social media, calling individual journalists dishonest and bad reporters. In particular, Politico is a frequent target of his.
Spicer is also not afraid to engage in a shouting match on cable news, recently butting heads with CNN’s Michael Smerconish in an interview about Russia’s involvement in the presidential election. And he is clearly proud of the way that he represents Trump on television, as Spicer posts every single one of his cable news appearances on his personal YouTube channel.
Stay tuned for an official announcement about Donald Trump’s choice for press secretary.