White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was criticized by reporters for holding his daily briefing off-camera on Monday. Chief strategist Steve Bannon explained why in a text to The Atlantic: “Sean got fatter.”
The Atlantic reported that Bannon didn’t reply to a follow-up question. It’s safe to assume that Bannon was joking or playfully mocking his colleague, but the jab is interesting nonetheless as reports swirl that Spicer is searching for his own replacement.
On Monday, CNN’s Jim Acosta ripped Spicer for “stonewalling” and called the situation “bizarre.” Spicer has become a household name for his combative press briefings, but they have become less frequent recently.
“The White House press secretary is getting to a point… where he is just kind of useless,” Acosta said on air. “If he can’t come out and answer the questions and they’re not going to do this on camera or audio, why are we even having these briefings or these gaggles in the first place?”
Meanwhile, Politico reports that Spicer is reaching out to prospective candidates to take over his position as part a plan to shake up the White House communications operation.
Spicer and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus have reportedly reached out to Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham about possibly taking over Spicer’s responsibilities. Daily Mail U.S. political editor David Martosko has been in talks to take over the role of communications director.