White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's spokesman during the first six months of his presidency, is resigning his position.
Spicer's daily press briefings had become must-see television until recent weeks when he took on a more behind-the-scenes role. Take a look at Spicer's memorable moments at the White House podium.
Spicer's tenure got off to a notably rocky start. On Trump's first full day in office, Spicer lambasted journalists over coverage of the crowd size at the inauguration and stormed out of the briefing room without answering questions.
Several media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Politico and the Los Angeles Times, were barred from a White House press briefing in February. Spicer discussed the White House's unusual decision.
A lighthearted moment broke out in an otherwise fiery White House briefing when Spicer fixed an American flag pin on his lapel, which had been upside-down. An upside-down American flag is a universal symbol for distress. Twitter soon erupted with jokes about Spicer slyly calling for help.
Almost eclipsing Spicer's fame was that of "SNL's" Melissa McCarthy — more specifically, McCarthy as Spicer. The comedy actor's recurring late-night portrayal of Spicer had him knocking over podiums, playing the victim in a room full of reporters and even donning a bunny costume — a reference to Spicer's old days of playing the role of Easter Bunny at the White House's Easter Egg Roll during the George W. Bush administration.
Spicer commented good-naturedly after one of McCarthy's early performances.
In a not-so-lighthearted moment, Spicer stoked outrage when he compared Adolf Hitler to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad favorably, saying Hitler did not "sink to the level of using chemical weapons" during World War II. In fact, Hitler used chemical gas chambers in his attempted extermination of millions of European Jews. Spicer’s comments came on the first day of Passover.
Later that same day, Spicer attempted to clarify his erroneous statement, but he only waded deeper into it, referring to gas chambers as "Holocaust centers."
By the end of the day, Spicer appeared to realize that a straightforward apology was in order. "Everyone makes mistakes," he said in an interview. The following day, he again apologized in an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Spicer stoked some outrage — and inspired the Twitter hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork — at another briefing in which he and American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan had a heated exchange leading to Spicer telling Ryan to "stop shaking your head" several times.
After Trump's unexpected firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May, Spicer didn’t seem altogether prepared for reporters’ questions about his boss firing the FBI director for reasons that were not immediately clear. The Washington Post wrote of the scene:
"After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.
"'Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,' he ordered. 'We’ll take care of this…Can you just turn that light off?'
"Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall hedges, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him. For 10 minutes, he responded to a flurry of questions, vacillating between lighthearted asides and clear frustration with getting the same questions over and over again."
The Post later issued a clarification that Spicer was "huddled with his staff among bushes," not "in the bushes."
The internet did not disappoint and was quick to widely distribute a new Spicer meme in which the then-press secretary's head was pasted on a relevant Simpsons gif.
Spicer first confirmed his resignation on Twitter Friday, before a press briefing led by his newly named successor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.