White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigns

- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's embattled spokesman during the first six months of his presidency, has resigned over the hiring of the new communications aide, according to multiple reports.

New York Times was the first to report the resignation, saying Spicer "vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director."

Scaramucci is a frequent defender of the president on television and was a fixture at Trump Tower during Trump's transition. He's filling the role left by Mike Dubke, who announced his resignation in May. Spicer has been doing double duty filling in in the weeks since.

Spicer's daily press briefings had become must-see television until recent weeks when he took on a more behind-the-scenes role. Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has largely taken over the briefings, turning them into an off-camera event.

In one of the first televised press briefings in weeks Friday afternoon, the White House announced Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the new press secretary and Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. 

Also during the briefing, Trump said in a statement read by Sanders that he's "grateful" for departing press secretary Sean Spicer's "work on behalf of my administration and the American people." 

He adds: "just look at his great television ratings!" 

Spicer spent several years leading communications at the Republican National Committee before helping Trump's campaign in the general election. He is close to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the former RNC chair, and several of the lower-ranking aides in the White House communications shop.

Scaramucci is expected to play a visible role as one of Trump's defenders on television. But Spicer and other officials questioned his hiring as communications director ahead of the president's push to overhaul the tax system and other policy issues. One of the officials said Spicer objected to Trump's vision for the future of the press operation.

Spicer's tenure got off to a 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.

His fiery demeanor and tense on-camera exchanges were mocked on Saturday Night Live, with the role of Spicer being played by actress Melissa McCarthy. 

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