Sean Spicer claims to be ‘one of most popular guys in Ireland’
Trump’s former press secretary says he is mulling paid appearances on Irish TV shows
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer: ‘I’m one of the most popular guys in Ireland.’ Photograph: AP
The Republican aide, who left his job in the US president’s administration on August 31st, has signed on with a paid-speaker agency in the hope of starting a lucrative post-White House career giving speeches.
Mr Spicer bragged to the US political news website Axios in a post published on Wednesday about the popularity of his White House press briefing and that he was mobbed by members of the public on a recent trip to Europe.
“The US press briefing had become part of their nightly viewing,” Mr Spicer told political journalist Mike Allen for his morning briefing note on Wednesday. “It was a prime-time show from Europe to the Middle East… I’m one of the most popular guys in Ireland.”
Among the opportunities Mr Spicer is considering, according to Axios, are paid appearances on TV shows in Ireland and the UK and lucrative consultants to offer advice to individuals and corporations. The former Trump aide has told The Irish Times that he hopes to visit Ireland soon.
A spokeswoman for RTÉ Television said she had no comment on whether any programme makers had offered Mr Spicer money for an appearance, saying that the broadcaster does not comment on any approaches made to guests or on editorial decisions.
“Introducing my new press secretary,” Mr O’Keeffe joked on Twitter, posting a photograph of the two men.
Mr O’Keeffe later said that there was “fierce demand” to meet Mr Spicer.
“Everyone wanted a photograph with him - he’s very recognisable,” he told The Evening Echo.
Mr Spicer resigned as press secretary in July, ending a stormy six months as the public face of the Trump administration. He left after Mr Trump hired New York financier and longtime supporter Anthony Scaramucci, who himself resigned less than a fortnight later.
The former press aide’s daily briefings at the White House attracted millions of TV viewers, who tuned in to watch his truculent handling of the media queries and frequent attacks on reporters.
The former political strategist and spokesman for the Republican Party drew controversy over his gaffes and false statements from the White House podium including his claims that Mr Trump’s inauguration drew the largest audience ever and that Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons.
He was notoriously lampooned by comedian Melissa McCarthy in a severe impersonation on US TV sketch show, Saturday Night Live.
A regular visitor to Ireland, Mr Spicer, a native of New England, has spoken proudly of his Irish heritage and has said that his great-grandfather came from Co Cork. For St Patrick’s Day in 2016, he sported green and white trousers emblazoned with shamrocks during media appearances.