“He couldn’t be a mini-Trump,” said one White House ally, close to chief strategist Steve Bannon. “Because he didn’t have the personality to pull it off.”

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, said that over the years he has noted that people who work closely with Trump begin acting like him, from his brother Robert to the lobbyist Richard Fields.

“It is one thing to be an alpha male,” Stone said of Spicer. “It’s another to be a poor Trump imitator.”