The must-watch gaffes and testy exchanges at the White House’s daily press briefings have come to an abrupt end after Donald Trump’s combative spokesman Sean Spicer resigned on Friday.
Arguably the most mocked US press secretary in living memory, Mr Spicer reportedly walked after learning of the President’s appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.
Mr Spicer had hoped to last a year in a role, but lasted six months and a day.
On Twitter he said it had been an “honour” and “privilege” to serve Mr Trump.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 21, 2017
The former White House press secretary’s awkward responses and tendency to scold the press spawned comedy gold for Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of Sean “Spicy” Spicer on NBC skit show Saturday Night Live.
Donning an ill-fitting grey suit and mocking a habit of chewing gum, Ms McCarthy captured Mr Spicer’s feisty defence of the Trump administration from the White House lectern.
“Before we begin, I know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start,” Ms McCarthy said in her first caricature of Mr Spicer.
“When I say rocky start, I mean it in the sense of ‘Rocky’ the movie because I came out here to punch you in the face.”
Later in the sketch, “Spicy” Spicer pulled out a Super Soaker water gun to wash out a reporter’s “lying mouth”.
The sketch followed Mr Spicer telling a reporter at the White House press gallery to stop shaking her head after responding to a question.
Mr Spicer first shocked the media on his second day when he claimed “alternative facts” about the size of Mr Trump’s inauguration crowd.
He said Mr Trump’s presidential inauguration was the “largest ever witnessed…period, both in person and around the globe”, arguing photographs of the crowd on the national mall had been digitally manipulated to minimise Mr Trump’s support.
“I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts,” he said.
In another cringe-worthy moment, Mr Spicer was also clearly confused about who the Prime Minister of Canada was.
“Yesterday the President sat and had an incredibly productive set of meetings with the Prime Minister Joe [Justin] Trudeau of Canada focussing on our shared commitment to close cooperation,” Mr Spicer said.
The now former White House press secretary fabricated a terror attack in Atlanta and talked about the President trying to “destabilise” the Middle East.
But it was his reference to the Holocaust when commenting on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons that got him in real hot water.
Forgetting Hitler gassed millions of people, Mr Spicer said, “Someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons…”
He later apologised for the “inappropriate and insensitive comment”, acknowledging there was no comparison.
“I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad made against his own people last week using chemical weapons and gas,” Spicer told CNN’s Wold Blitzer.
The New York Times reported Mr Trump asked Mr Spicer to stay on as press secretary, but Mr Spicer said he believed the appointment of Mr Scaramucci was a “major mistake”.
Mr Trump took to Twitter to farewell Mr Spicer’s, crediting him for surviving his embattled tenure in the world of ‘Fake News’.
Sean Spicer is a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the Fake News Media – but his future is bright!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017