After a miserable week defending the president, Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are both reportedly concerned that they may not be secure in their West Wing employment.
But according to sources close to the White House, being the administration’s top spokesperson is a job no one is excited to fill.
Trump is viewing his “public protectors” as “somewhat disposable.” And if they fail, as Spicer has, to work within Trump’s inner circle to protect their reputation with the former CEO, they usually aren’t tolerated for very long.
Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey made things extra difficult for his communications team, particularly since Trump himself has spent the week saying things at odds with his administration’s official line.
But although Spicer and Huckabee Sanders may be earning their boss’s scorn, no one, according to the New York Times and sources close to the administration, is really looking forward to taking on the role as Trump’s public voice.
Even Huckabee Sanders, according to her father, former governor Mike Huckabee, isn’t gunning for the top role. “She may enlist [in the Armed Forces] just to get an easier job, enlist for frontline combat,” he told The Hill.
Unlike other presidents, Trump reportedly considers his public spokesperson the first line of defense for the administration, the same way a public spokesperson is the first line of defense in a corporation. The person is charged with absorbing both the press and public blowback that results.
That isn’t a tantalizing job description within DC, where press secretaries are typically expected to work with their bosses to formulate a consistent agency line. The White House is usually a well-oiled communications and public-relations operation, not an insular group of workers, with only a single individual designated to face the firing squad.
If Spicer is booted, it will be the Trump Administration’s most significant firing since Michael Flynn. The White House insists, though, they’re not planning anything—as usual.