Sean Spicer just resigned — here are some of his biggest controversies as Trump’s press secretary

Sean Spicer announced that his resignation as President Donald Trump’s press secretary on Friday morning – shortly after he told Trump that he strongly disagreed with his choice for the new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci.

As the buffer between the press and Trump, Spicer had a challenging job – one that he made even more difficult with repeated blunders and controversies.

Here are some of the biggest controversies to take place since Spicer took over the role of the official White House press secretary on January 20.


Spicer’s role started off to a rocky start when, two days after Trump’s inauguration, when he declared Trump had “the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.”

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer holds the daily press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Other than delivering a statement on Saturday critical of reporting about President Donald Trump’s inauguration, this will be Spicer’s first news conference at the White House.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite photos of the event showing a crowd much sparser than former President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, Spicer insisted that no other president attracted a bigger crowd of visitors and fought with reporters who challenged his assertion.


Spicer has repeatedly gone back and forth on whether Trump’s decision to block people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US was indeed “a ban.”

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Even though Trump himself tweeted about the travel ban, Spicer insisted that it “can’t be a ban” and should instead be called “extreme vetting.”


During his time as press secretary, Spicer became known for repeatedly sparring with reporters — such as when he told one journalist to “calm down” and another one to stop shaking her head.

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer holds the daily briefing on Feb. 23, 2017 in at the White House in Washington, DC.
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Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

“Calm down,” Spicer once told a journalist who was asking him questions about Trump’s claims of wiretapping during the 2016 elections.


There was also the time when Spicer said that Americans could definitely trust Trump — “if he’s not joking.”

“If he’s not joking, of course,” Spicer once told a reporter who asked if Americans could trust the things that Trump said. He followed that by saying that Trump was still correct when he said that 3 million Americans voted illegally in the 2016 election.


Even though Paul Manafort served as Trump’s campaign chairman for three months, Spicer once told those present at a press briefing that he played a “very limited role” in the campaign.

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Paul Manafort with Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During a press briefing, Spicer said that Paul Manafort – who spent three months as Trump’s campaign chairman – did not play a large role in Trump’s administration. This occurred in response to questions about the investigation into alleged links between Russian officials and the Trump administration.


Hitler did not resort to “using the gas on his own people,” Spicer once falsely said to a room full of reporters.

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Sean Spicer.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

One of Spicer’s biggest controversies occurred when he falsely stated that, unlike Syrian president Bashar Assad, Adolf Hitler had never used chemical weapons and did not resort to using gas “on his own people.” Spicer later apologized for both of these comments, after numerous Jewish groups and students of history called for his resignation.


“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection,” Spicer once said to questions about Trump.

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Actress Melissa McCarthy as President Donald Trump’s White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live.”
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“Saturday Night Live”/NBC; Twitter

In late March, Spicer tried to downplay questions about whether Trump had collaborated with Russian officials by saying that the media used anything as nebulous as Russian salad dressing to demonstrate a connection.


Another notorious moment occurred when Spicer ducked into some bushes to avoid reporters’ questions on Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Back in May, Spicer struggled to avoid the media firestorm that arose after Trump unexpectedly fired Comey – by momentarily ducking behind some bushes by the White Hose. The move only exacerbated the public’s frustration and prompted quite a few “Spicer in the bushes” memes.