President Donald Trump is pleased with White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s job performance because he “gets great ratings.”
“I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” Trump said in April, according to a Washington Post report that quotes several anonymous White House insiders. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in,” Trump said, according to the source.
More than 3 million people watch CNN, MSNBC and Fox News combined when Spicer delivers his daily press briefings, according to a recent Nielsen survey, and Yahoo says that on average, 600,000 people stream the press briefings online each day. (RELATED: Sean Spicer Dubbed ‘Most Visible’ As Press Briefing Ratings Climb)
The president even compared viewership of Spicer’s press briefing to daytime soap operas, WaPo reports.
When Spicer himself is covered, the press is often negative. He frequently makes statements that offend members of the press corps, requiring an apology and clarification later in the day.
Spicer recently had to apologize for saying “even [Adolf] Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons,” comparing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on a town in Syria to Hitler’s combat weapons.
After the Hilter reference, many Democrats called on the White House to fire Spicer. “I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, there is no comparison,” Spicer said as an apology. (RELATED: Sean Spicer Apologizes For Comparing Assad To Hitler In Holocaust Gaffe)
WaPo reports that the president was critical of Spicer early on for wearing an ill-fitting gray pinstripe suit to his first White House press briefing on Jan. 21, just after the inauguration. Spicer has dressed more sharply since then, the Post reports.
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