Sean Spicer is an American political aide who held the office of White House Press Secretary and White House Communications Director in President Donald Trump’s administration for few months in 2017. Before joining the White House, he was the communications director and chief strategist for the Republican National Committee. Even before this, he worked as the communication director of The House Republican Conference and was assistant for media and public affairs at the U.S. Trade Representative. During his brief tenure at the White House as press secretary, he had a contentious relationship with the media which began right the day after President Trump’s inaugural ceremony when he falsely stated that the audience at ceremony was largest ever at such an event. He also baselessly criticised the media for downplaying the number of spectators. After leaving the White House, he authored a book and participated in a dance show. He currently hosts a political talk show on Newsmax TV; is a member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy; serves as the president of a strategic consulting firm and is an exclusive speaker of the Worldwide Speakers Group.
Childhood & Early Life
Sean Spicer was born on 23rd September, 1971, to Kathryn and Michael William Spicer in Manhasset, New York. He was raised in the East Bay area of Rhode Island.
His father worked as an insurance agent while his mother was employed at the Brown University’s East Asian studies department as department manager.
He was a student of Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island between 1985 and 1989 and then joined Connecticut College from where he earned his BA degree in government in 1993. Both in school and college, he worked for local political campaigns as a volunteer.
He got his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies in the year 2012 from the Naval War College in Rhode Island.
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After completing his graduation, Sean Spicer worked for various representatives in their political campaigns.
In 1999, he became a public affairs officer in the United States Navy Reserve. He has been a part of the Navy Reserve for over twenty years and currently holds the rank of a commander.
The beginning of the 21st century saw him working for a year in the House Government Reform Committee as communications director.
Between 2001 and 2002, he worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee as director of incumbent retention.
He next served as the communications director and spokesman for the United States House Committee on the Budget from 2003 to 2005.
This was followed by an appointment as communications director for the Republican Conference of the U.S. House of Representatives.
His next job was at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in President Bush administration where he held the position of assistant for media and public affairs between 2006 and 2009.
In 2009, he co-established a public relations and public affairs firm called Endeavor Global Strategies along with Gretchen Hamel and Nathan Imperiale. The firm in Alexandria, Virginia, represented foreign governments and corporations with business before the U.S. government.
After working for Endeavor Global Strategies, he took up the job of communications director of the Republican National Committee in Feb 2011. He held the office till 2017.
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In 2015, his responsibilities in the party were expanded with him getting the additional role of chief strategist for the party. He continued in the position till 2017.
In December 2016, he was first appointed the White House press secretary in Donald Trump’s administration and was later given the charge of temporary communications director. His tenure was marked by controversies.
A day after president Trump’s inaugural ceremony, Spicer falsely claimed that the ceremony attracted the ‘largest audience to ever to witness an inauguration, period – both in person and around the globe’ and said that the press had purposely underestimated the size of the crowd.
He also falsely claimed that metro ridership was more during Trump’s inaugural ceremony as compared to that of President Obama. Later, it was reported that he had made the false statements under direct orders from Trump.
In April 2017, he was severely criticized when he suggested that the Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad was worse than Hitler as the latter had not used chemical weapons. In doing so, he completely ignored the use of gas chambers at concentration camps during Holocaust. He later apologized for his statement.
In February 2017, the White House refused a number of media outlets like BBC, CNN and New York Times, to attend an off-camera briefing with Spicer while allowing other media outlets to attend it. This attracted a lot of criticism from the media.
In July 2017, a lawsuit was filed against President Trump, Spicer and Dan Scavino by Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University for blocking a group of Twitter users from the U.S. President Donald Trump's personal account.
The users alleged that since the account was a public forum, blocking users from it was a violation of their First Amendment rights.
Later in the month, on July 21st, Sean Spicer announced his resignation from the post of White House Press Secretary.
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n September 2017, he started a strategic consulting firm, RigWil LLC that offers insights to C-suite corporate and association executives. He works as its president.
He went on to co-establish a mail, digital and consulting firm known as point1 to help the Republican candidates in their important campaigns across the country.
He was also appointed the spokesman and senior advisor to the America First Action SuperPAC by Trump.
He became an exclusive speaker of the Worldwide Speakers Group and has delivered speeches in corporations, schools and association around the world.
In July 2018, he published a book ‘The Briefing: Politics, the Press, and the President’ which details about his time in the Trump’s presidential campaign and administration.
In 2017-2018, he worked as a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
In August 2019, President Trump nominated him to serve on the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors. Sean Spicer joined the board later that year.
In August 2019, he participated in the 28th season of the American Dance competition television series, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and lasted for eight weeks.
In February 2020, President Donald Trump appointed him as one of the Commissioners to oversee the White House Fellows Program.
From March 2020, he began hosting his own show ‘Spicer & Co.’ on Newsmax TV.
He has been associated with various causes like backing veterans, adoption and cancer research. He is amongst the Board of Directors at the Yellow Ribbon Fund and the Independence Fund.
As the communications director and chief strategist of the RNC (Republican National Committee), Sean Spicer worked to increase the social media activity of the organization, set up an in-house TV production team and created a rapid response program to answer any attacks. His PR strategies helped the party rebuild post 2012 defeat and eventually win in 2014.
Family & Personal Life
Since 2004, Sean Spicer has been married to Rebecca Miller who currently works for the National Beer Wholesalers Association. The couple have two children.
Actress and comedian, Melissa McCarthy,�was appreciated for her satirical portrayal of Sean Spicer and his aggressive press conferences on Saturday Night Live in 2017.