Melissa McCarthy’s reign as Saturday Night Live’s Sean Spicer appears to have come to an abrupt end. President Donald Trump has named pal/Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director, and Spicer, who has been filling in on the job, has resigned.
In a statement, Trump wished him success and pointed to “his great television ratings.”
Spicer’s role as wrangler of the daily White House press briefings had been neutered since Team Trump pulled cameras from the clambake and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders largely took over the gaggle.
Spicer told CNN’s Dana Bash this morning he stepped down to give Trump’s new message-massaging chief a “clean slate” and tweeted he is exiting officially next month:
Despite reports that Trump wanted Spicer to remain as White House press secretary, the relationship was rocky from the get-go. In Spicer’s brief time on the job – six months and one day – Trump repeatedly expressed unhappiness with his loyal soldier. Spicer has endured a lot under Trump, taking press bullets for his POTUS on Day 1, when he held his gobsmacking presser to insist that Trump’s inauguration had clocked the biggest crowd in history, and making it clear he would brook no opposition. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period! Both in person and around the globe,” Spicer had barked that day.
And Saturday Night Live did Spicey no favor when the NBC late-night show skyrocketed his profile, bringing McCarthy on board for a hilarious and spot-on parody. McCarthy is Emmy-nommed for those headline-grabbing performances that drove Trump nuts.
It got so bad for Spicer that White House correspondents began to take pity on him and, when he recently made a rare appearance at the daily gaggle, told him how much they missed him and how happy they were to see him back.
The news comes one day after Mark Corallo resigned as spokesperson for Trump’s outside legal team that’s handling all Russian-probe press questions.
Scaramucci’s appointment was forecast Thursday afternoon by political site Axios, which noted Scaramucci had earlier been promised another job in the Trump White House, but that gig had not materialized.
Scaramucci had been working at the Export-Import Bank and has no professional communications experience. But he’s pugnacious with the press – a big plus in Trumpworld.
Scaramucci’s appointment is being eyeballed by some as a poke at Trump’s favorite TV network to hate, CNN. Last month, it retracted its story about a Russian investment fund and possible ties to Trump, apologizing specifically to Scaramucci, who accepted the apology. The CNN report, posted to the network’s website, alleged that Senate investigators were tracking down ties between Scaramucci, founder of investment firm SkyBridge Capital, and a Russian investment fund managed by a Kremlin bank.
Scaramucci, in turn, tweeted his acceptance of CNN’s “apology”: