A day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, Spicer’s tenure as White House press secretary got off to a rough start. During his first appearance behind the podium, he berated the press and insisted Trump’s swearing-in had "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration"—though National Park Service photos clearly showed otherwise.
January 23 and 24
Old news stories and tweets about Spicer began going viral. Over two days, Spicer’s old Twitter feud with Dippin’ Dots resurfaced along with his habit of chewing and swallowing enormous amounts of Orbit gum.
One hectic week into the new job, Spicer tweeted a strange collection of letters and numbers, which many assumed was his Twitter password. He quickly deleted it.
Melissa McCarthy appeared as Spicer on Saturday Night Live, portraying the spokesman as an aggressive, tongue-tied gum chewer. Spicer’s reaction to the skit: "She needs to chew the gum slower, and not so many pieces."
After a wildly popular first Spicer spoof, SNL did it again a week later, this time with a moving podium that McCarthy-as-Spicer drove into the press pool after getting flustered.
Spicer was finally off double duty as both White House press secretary and communications director. Mike Dubke, founder of Republican-leaning firms Black Rock Group and Crossroads Media, was hired for the latter role.
After a short break from televised press briefings, Spicer held a briefing in his office and reportedly blocked specific news outlets from joining. The reporters barred from entering were from media outlets Trump regularly attacked, including The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, Politico, and BuzzFeed.
In an SNL-esque move, Spicer used props during a briefing on the Republicans’ Affordable Care Act replacement, the American Health Care Act. He broke out two stacks of paper beside the podium, the Obamacare stack significantly larger than the other, to show that the Republican health plan was much simpler, saying, "This is government; this is not."
After weeks of defending the Affordable Care Act replacement, the Republican bill was pulled from the House floor. Spicer continued defending the bill and assured reporters that the Trump administration was expecting it to pass mere hours before House Republicans yanked it due to lack of support.
Spicer hit the low point of his brief tenure. During a briefing following the U.S. strike in Syria, Spicer claimed Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons" on his own people like Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did. When asked to clarify his statement, Spicer coined the unfortunate term "Holocaust centers." He apologized that day. Key Democrats called for Trump to fire Spicer.
SNL brought back McCarthy as Spicer for a third time. The show spoofed his Hitler-Assad gaffe, had him yell at children, and dressed him in an Easter bunny suit, reminiscent of when he actually was the Easter bunny during President George W. Bush’s administration.
Trump reportedly told a White House working lunch that Spicer’s job is safe. "I’m not firing Sean Spicer," Trump said, according to The Washington Post. "That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in."