It was only a matter of time before Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, agreed to an interview – and Jimmy Kimmel got it.
On Thursday, Spicer headed to “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to chat it up with the late-night host, who didn’t pull any punches.
From asking whether Spicer had ever seen President Donald Trump naked (he hadn’t) and about his first day on the job when he had to tell the country that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was the largest in history, Kimmel touched on all the memorable moments of Spicer’s time in the White House.
But Spicer kept his cool throughout the interview and was respectful of the president, and he explained what his role entailed at the White House, despite at times having to back up questionable acts by the Trump administration.
“Your job as press secretary is to represent the president’s voice and to make sure you’re articulating what he believes his vision is on policy, on issues, and other areas that he wants to articulate,” Spicer told Kimmel. “Whether or not you agree or not isn’t your job – your job is to give him advice, which is what we would do on a variety of issues all the time.
“He would always listen to that advice, but ultimately, he’s the president, and he would say ‘I agree with you’ sometimes, or ‘That’s a good point, incorporate it,’ or sometimes he would say, depending on the issue, ‘Look, I know what I believe, and this is what I think the right thing to do is.'”
And Spicer acknowledged that he did have an alert set up for whenever Trump tweeted.
- “Saturday Night Live”/NBC; Twitter
Spicer laughed off being spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” by Melissa McCarthy for most of his time in the White House. After Kimmel played a clip, Spicer said, “That was kind of funny.”
Kimmel also brought up Spicer’s replacement, Anthony Scaramucci. Spicer said he was on good terms with “the Mooch,” but at the end of the day, he felt he couldn’t work alongside him.
“It wasn’t personal,” Spicer said. “I just didn’t feel as though he had the qualifications or the background to work in the communications office, and my view was that if I’m going to have to partner with somebody that I don’t believe had the skill set to execute the job, then it was incumbent upon me to either step aside or make my voice known.
“I did,” he continued. “I told the president if he wanted a clean slate, that he wanted a change, that I respect that.”
When Kimmel brought up the New Yorker piece in which Scaramucci went on a profanity-laced tirade that ultimately led to his firing, Spicer said, “I think it proved my point that to do this job is one in which you have the proper background and training.”
At the end of the interview, Kimmel showed a picture of Spicer at his going-away party and noted how happy he looked.
“The president said to me right before I left, he said, ‘My gosh, you look 10 years younger,'” Spicer said.
Watch the entire Kimmel interview with Spicer: