When Josh Earnest held court, the former White House press secretary was typically the top-ranking administration official in the room. So far, new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer isn’t getting the same deal.
In his past two press conferences, Spicer has been accompanied by senior White House aides. Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, director of strategic communications Hope Hicks, and director of communications for the office of public liaison Omarosa Manigault all sat in on Spicer’s press conferences Monday and Tuesday.
In former President Barack Obama’s administration, senior level aides did not attend White House briefings, with only subordinates to former press secretary Josh Earnest seated in the six seats next to the podium where the press secretary takes questions.
The appearance of senior aides follows a tense start to Spicer’s tenure. During his opening press conference Saturday, Spicer made several demonstrably false claims about the size of the crowd that attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration. He was widely mocked online and has since been repeatedly challenged by reporters on his credibility.