Donald Trump announces Sean Spicer as his new press secretary

The RNC's chief strategist will have his work cut out for him spinning for the unpredictable Trump

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 22, 2016 8:00PM (EST)

Sean Spicer   (MSNBC)
Sean Spicer (MSNBC)

President-elect Donald Trump announced on Thursday that Sean Spicer will be his new press secretary.

Spicer served as the Republican National Committee's communications director from 2011 to 2015. As of 2015, he became the RNC's chief strategist and communications director, and quickly emerged as a consistent defender of Trump even when other Republicans were hesitant to rally behind him or outright opposed him. This was in spite of Spicer's pro-free trade and pro-immigration reform stances, which were in direct contradiction to two of Trump's core positions.

That said, Spicer also has a reputation for putting the well-being of the Republican Party over all other considerations, which explains why he was so quick to rally to Trump's defense once he became the nominee.

“Every day I want to put points on the board,” Spicer told The Washington Post in August. “That’s what I care about more than anything else.”

This mentality is apparently very common among party spokespeople

"To be a spokesperson you need to be able to defend the nominee without hesitation," said Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also told the Post. "I can assure you that 90 percent of the people who have done this kind of thing for a living would have some hesitation. But I’m glad somebody’s comfortable with it."

Initial reports suggest that Trump's first choice for press secretary was Kellyanne Conway, but she turned down the position. It was also announced on Thursday that Conway would serve as White House counsel.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Sean Spicer