(Adds detail on change in White House briefings, potential
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON, June 19 The White House is
considering shifting press secretary Sean Spicer away from the
daily spokesman job and into a new communications role but no
such move is believed imminent, a senior White House official
said on Monday.
Spicer has been a frequent target of criticism for his
performance at the White House lectern during daily news
briefings, although President Donald Trump has stood by him
through a variety of controversies.
Spicer, who was the Republican National Committee's senior
strategist during the presidential campaign last year, is
currently doing double duty as press secretary and
communications director after the previous communications
director, Michael Dubke, resigned May 30.
The senior White House official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said discussions about some changes in the
communications department have been going on for some time.
"I don't think anything is imminent," the official said. "No
decisions have been made. There is nothing definitive."
Trump has privately vented to aides on occasion about the
communications team and the need to have more people defending
him on television.
The White House has been looking at ways to improve on this
"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 White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Spicer has been doing fewer briefings and not as many of
them before the TV cameras in recent weeks as he and his team
have adjusted to Trump's tendency to be his own spokesman
through his tweets and public comments.
He and his team have also stopped commenting on a special
counsel's investigation into Russian meddling into last year's
On Monday, Spicer conducted an off-camera session with
Sanders has been Spicer's stand-in at the lectern on several
occasions and would likely be considered a potential successor
But Trump has also been intrigued in the past by the
possibility of hiring conservative talk radio host Laura
Ingraham as his press secretary.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Tom Brown)