Now that Anthony Scaramucci is leaving the White House, it’s unclear whether Sean Spicer will still resign as press secretary.
Sean Spicer, after all, has not actually resigned yet; when his resignation was announced on July 21st, he said that he would continue to serve through the end of August. The only reason Spicer was even leaving in the first place was because of the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci. The New York Times reported that Spicer offered his resignation after telling President Trump that he “vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci.” President Trump reportedly asked Spicer to stay on, but Spicer resigned anyway.
Sean Spicer himself admitted at the time that he was resigning because of Scaramucci, although he characterized it differently, saying he wanted to give Scaramucci a clean slate.
“[Trump] wanted to bring some new folks in to help rev up the communications operation,” Spicer said during an interview with Sean Hannity. “After reflection, my decision was to recommend to the president that I give Anthony [Scaramucci] and Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] a clean state to start from so that they can talk about the president’s’ agenda and help move it forward.”
So now that Anthony Scaramucci is gone, there would no longer be any reason for Spicer to leave. On Monday afternoon, Spicer would not answer questions about whether he will stay on at the White House; that’s not necessarily confirmation of anything, but one would think that if he was definitely going to still resign, he could have given an simple yes or no answer here.
According to Politico reporter Matthew Nussbaum, Spicer emerged from his office this afternoon smiling, but he would not answer questions about his future.
Spicer was also seen working with Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the statement about the resignation of Anthony Scaramucci. Spicer is apparently a fan of the term “clean slate,” as this afternoon’s statement said that Scaramucci was leaving to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate.
Worth noting here, though, is the fact that there was already buzz of Sean Spicer leaving the White House long before Anthony Scaramucci’s hiring. After all, Politico reported last month that Sean Spicer was actively searching for his own replacement. However, at the time it was rumored that Spicer would take on a different role in the White House and not that he would leave entirely.
“And as Spicer interviews job candidates, he has been pushing to move into a new role senior to both the communications director and press secretary, according to the people familiar with the discussions,” Politico reported on June 19th.
During the White House press briefing this afternoon, when asked whether Sean Spicer will still resign, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I’m not aware of any changes on that front.”