WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Sean Spicer is seeking to take on a more strategic role that would give him a limited presence in the daily press briefings that have made him a prominent face of the Trump administration.
A senior administration official and three people familiar with the potential changes said Monday that Spicer has discussed taking a more senior communications role at the White House.
“We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation. As he did in the beginning, Sean Spicer is managing both the communications and press office,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a deputy White House press secretary.
Discussions about overhauling the White House communications office have been ongoing for several weeks, according to the senior administration official.
Spicer’s preference is to step away from the press briefings entirely, though other configurations have also been discussed.
Major staffing shake-ups have been a constant subject of conversation at the White House, but have failed to materialize in recent weeks, aside from the departure of communications director Mike Dubke in early June.
The White House has increasingly tapped Cabinet officials and other White House advisers to address reporters on camera and moved to take some of the daily briefings off cable television to keep the focus on Trump, who makes a habit of watching the televised performances.
The White House has generally only used that excuse on days that the president has held a press conference or delivered a major speech.
The president has long seen himself as his most effective spokesman, and has faulted his communications team for much of the early turbulence at the White House as well as the backlash from the firing of FBI Director James Comey.