From Trump's inauguration crowd to Hitler's 'Holocaust centre,' it was a rocky road for Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer may be out at the White House, but his curious legacy as a loyal-to-a-fault press secretary, willing to stake his reputation on aggressively defending his boss's most questionable assertions, will likely not be forgotten. Here are a few memorable moments on video.

Memorable moments in U.S. press secretary Sean Spicer's White House adventure

Sean Spicer notable moments

4 years ago
A look at Spicer's eventful and, at times, adversarial tenure as press secretary 2:23

Sean Spicer may be out at the White House, but his curious legacy as a loyal-to-a-fault press secretary, willing to stake his reputation on aggressively defending his boss's most questionable assertions, will likely not be forgotten.

After all, it's hard to forget the antics that played out during his must-see TV press briefings.

On Friday, Spicer resigned from the White House communications staff after news broke that U.S. President Donald Trump would call on Republican donor and former banker Anthony Scaramucci as his new director of communications. 

Here's a selection of a few Spicer moments, most of them memorable for all of the wrong reasons. 

The inauguration crowd

Spicer's antagonistic style and seemingly limitless commitment to defending his boss's outlandish claims were on full display from his first news conference.

U.S. President Donald Trump falsely said that the crowd at his inauguration stretched from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. Simply rewinding your TiVo would show this was not true.

But a day after the inauguration, after Trump told a gathering at CIA headquarters that it looked like more than a million people, Spicer upped the ante.

"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe," he declared, holding oversized images taken from misleading perspectives.

He left the podium without taking a single question.

That same week on the Sunday-morning U.S. cable shows, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said that Spicer had provided "alternative facts" about the inauguration. The day after, Spicer himself told reporters, "We can disagree on the facts."

The Frederick Douglass saga

Just days after the inauguration, on the first day of Black History Month no less, Trump made a confounding comment about the 19th-century black abolitionist, writer and thinker Frederick Douglass. 

He "is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and he's being recognized more and more, I noticed," Trump said, suggesting to some that the president had no idea who Douglass was.

When Spicer tried to defend his boss, it became obvious that he too may not have been familiar with Douglass and his accomplishments.

"I think [Trump] wants to highlight the contributions that he made and I think that through a lot of the actions and statements he's going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more," Spicer told reporters. 

Joe Trudeau goes to Washington

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the trip south to speak with the new president in mid-February, Spicer caught reporters off guard when he told them that Trump's meeting with "Prime Minister Joe Trudeau of Canada" went swimmingly. 

In all fairness, it's tough to discern whether his reading notes actually said "Joe Trudeau" or if Spicer simply misspoke. 

Given this White House's penchant for misspelling the names of its own cabinet officials and dignitaries, we will likely never know. 

Either way, it made for entertaining video clip.

White House spokesman accidentally calls PM 'Joe Trudeau'

5 years ago
Trump spokesman, Sean Spicer, misspeaks while highlighting Justin Trudeau's visit to Washington during White House briefing 0:45

Upside-down flag pin

Kind of says it all, no? 

Sean Spicer addresses his upside down flag pin

5 years ago
White House press secretary assures reporters he's not trying to promote the series House of Cards as he fixes pin on his lapel 0:20

Adolf Hitler and the 'Holocaust centre'

The Trump administration is not known for its historical acumen, and Spicer did his part to further a tradition of vexing comments about well-known historical figures and events.

In this instance, Spicer wandered onto dangerous ground when he told reporters in a televised briefing that "someone as despicable as Hitler ... didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."

He made the statement after a question about the Syrian government's alleged use of Sarin on civilians in April.

There were more than a few aghast reactions in the press room, including this from Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker:

He tried moments later to clarify what he'd meant, but ended up digging deeper into the hole when he said that he understood that Hitler brought Jews into "the Holocaust centre."

The gaffe led to the U.S.-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect issuing a statement calling for Spicer to be fired.

'Hitler didn't even sink to using chemical weapons': U.S. press secretary says incorrectly

5 years ago
Sean Spicer compares Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler, incorrectly saying the latter didn't use chemical weapons on his own people 0:23

With files from The Associated Press


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