Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary and a devout Catholic, was left out of President’s Donald Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican in May.
“Wow. That’s all he wanted,” a source close to the White House told CNN in May. Spicer has spoken publicly about his Catholicism, telling reporters that he gave up alcohol for Lent.
Spicer resigned from the White House on Friday morning after Trump named former hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci to the position of White House communications director.
Spicer’s tenure was marked by an at-times awkward relationship with Trump. Before the Pope Francis meeting, both sides agreed to limit the number of staffers attending the high-profile meeting, according to CNN, and President Donald Trump’s entourage included mostly family.
First Lady Melania Trump and the president’s daughter Ivanka were seen donning matching veils alongside son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. A few key communications aides were also present at the meeting, including spokeswoman Hope Hicks and social media director Dan Scavino, according to Politico.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Keith Schiller, a deputy assistant, and Brian Hook, a State Department aide, also attended. Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, and Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, had already returned to Washington after the initial stop in Saudi Arabia.
Trump was reportedly mulling a massive staff shake-up at the White House after his communications staff, led by Spicer, failed to contain the fallout from Trump’s ouster of former FBI Director James Comey.