“I just thought it was in the best interest of our communications department, of our press organization, to not have too many cooks in the kitchen,” Spicer told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview hours after he resigned from the White House on Friday.
Spicer quit in apparent protest after Trump tapped Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted Friday to replace Spicer.
“He wanted to bring some new folks in to help rev up the communications operation, and after reflection, my decision was to recommend to the president that I give Anthony and Sarah a clean slate to start from,” Spicer told Hannity.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus also spoke to Hannity about the shakeup, saying Spicer is leaving on good terms.
“Sean leaving doesn’t mean that Sean isn’t going to be out there supporting President Trump and it doesn’t mean that President Trump isn’t going to be out there supporting Sean Spicer,” Priebus said.
Spicer’s departure marks the end of a rocky tenure in which the president’s top spokesman at times struggled to keep pace with Trump’s sometimes-chaotic leadership style — and a swirl of controversies.
During the 2016 election cycle, Spicer was the chief strategist and communications director of the Republican National Committee. He later came to the White House along with Priebus, the former RNC chairman who is now Trump’s chief of staff.
Spicer hasn’t had the rosiest relationship with the media since joining the White House. He’s clashed with reporters over “fake news” and said repeatedly the president was fed up with news reports that were “patently false.”
In February, he came under fire for barring reporters from several media outlets from participating in a scheduled press briefing.
His prickly relationship with the press was widely mocked on “Saturday Night Live” with Melissa McCarthy playing Spicer.