President Donald Trump praised White House press secretary Sean Spicer (and his television ratings) in a statement after Spicer resigned his post on Friday.
“I am grateful for Sean’s work on behalf of my administration and the American people,” Trump said in the statement read by incoming press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Friday’s press briefing. “I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings.”
Spicer will continue working as press secretary through August, when Sanders will take over his job. Spicer quit after Anthony Scaramucci, an investment-firm founder and top Trump donor and surrogate, announced he was joining the White House as communications director on Friday.
Sanders also read Trump’s statement on Scaramucci at the press briefing.
“Anthony is a person I have great respect for and he will be an important addition to this administration,” Trump said in the statement. “He has been a great supporter and will now help implement key aspects of our agenda while leading the communications team. We have accomplished so much and we are being given credit for so little. The good news is that people get it even if the media doesn’t.”
Scaramucci said he’s starting his new job “in a couple of weeks.”
Trump offered Scaramucci the top communications post around 10 a.m. Friday and, according to the Times’ sources, Spicer told the president that he believed the decision was a significant misstep.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is also reportedly opposed to the hire and believes Scaramucci does not posses the necessary political experience and skillset to lead the communications team. He told reporters Friday, however, that he supported Scaramucci “100%.”
Scaramucci was initially denied the role of director of the White House office of public liaison as questions swirled over ethics conflicts stemming from the sale of his firm, SkyBridge Capital, to a division of HNA Group, a Chinese company with ties to the Communist Party, according to The New York Times.