Perched on a stool, down to earth, Sean Spicer wore a white open-collar shirt, a shiny blue jacket and dark blue jeans. He adjusted the microphone. Behind him, a neon sign gave the name of the place, Pearl Street Warehouse. This could have been the beginning of a comic routine in a dimly lit club.
Maybe that was the case. Spicer, 46, was speaking at a launch party for his memoirs, the first of Donald Trump's administration by one of his elders. "I have the impression of receiving questions again," said the former White House press secretary as he began a sweet interview on stage that culminated with him. by launching rumors about an appearance of Dancing with the Stars. an American and you could have a laugh and memories of his unfortunate gaffes, poorly fitting costumes and the indelible impression of Melissa McCarthy with motorized lectern on Saturday Night Live. Tell someone else and you could have a grimace with a diagnosis of the role that he played in the corruption of the national discourse and the concept of the truth itself. A year after his sudden departure from the West Wing, he remains a tragic-comical figure in a way that his ruthlessly disciplined successor, Sarah Sanders, is not.
"It's the kind of humor you see in Stalin's film Armando Iannucci," said Michael Cornfield, a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington. "It's not so bad – people are not murdered – but the willingness to lower in the eagerness to please the boss is the same."
Spicer was a Republican official of trusted communications when he was called to become spokesman for the most unconventional American president of modern times. Trump's tendency to be his own spokesperson, to tweet unilaterally at any time and to adopt a sharp fighting style in the world of New York tabloids would be wrong with the most seasoned public relations operator.
Michael Caputo, communications consultant who has known Trump for three decades, said, "I think Sean Spicer has had the toughest communication job on the planet. at the most difficult time possible and has served very well. He handled it with aplomb. "
But five minutes were all that it took to destroy Spicer's reputation in the eyes of half of the nation." On January 21, 2017, a day after Trump's inauguration, He entered the White House briefing room and aggressively told the media: "This was the biggest audience of a period of inauguration – in person and around the world." Spicer remembers: "The fact checkers said my pants were on fire, fashion critics mocked my light gray striped suit for the way. My first appearance in front of the media in the press conference room set an unfortunate precedent for a belligerent press facing an equally belligerent press secretary. "
He went back to his office, he writes, waiting for a" Attaboy "from the president.But Trump was not happy." He did not like that I did not take no questions. He thought I was hooked on the wrong questions. He wanted to know why I had not executed my statement by him. "
Spicer was concerned that he was fired.He was not, but he bought four new suits." For weeks afterwards, I was getting emails and letters from tailors and personal stylists who were all looking to "help." What a first day. "
At his book launch in Washington, for which a few ticket packets sold for as much as $ 1,000, he added:" If I could get a Moreover, it would be him.The spell was cast that day. "
Indeed, the next morning, White House lawyer Kellyanne Conway defended the use of" alternative facts "by Spicer. He laid the foundation stone for what critics consider a house of lies. A line can be drawn from the press secretary's first statement to Trump's scary assertion to an audience of veterans this week: "Stay with us, do not believe the shit you see from these people , the false news.Be remember, what you see and what you read is not what happens. "
" The first press conference was an important event and Sean Spicer was the launches, "said Cornfield. "He went out to deny the visual reality and signal to everyone that now Trump is president, he will still be divisive, not a rallying man, and there is no honeymoon. did this earthy and challenging way that shocked everyone.He lost everyone in the first 24 hours – that's his legacy. "
Asked if he wants to laugh or cry at Spicer Cornfield replied, "You want to do both."