In the past two weeks, President Trump's administration has said farewells to Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and press secretary Sean Spicer. All will be remembered for their short-lived tenures in the White House, and for their sound bites. But not solely for the sound bites full of expletives and foul language or even the ones full of confusing and controversial statements. No, each will also be remembered for his unique skill at lavishing praise upon the president.
Oh how they praised him! Whether offering praise to Trump during news conferences or during Cabinet meetings, Scaramucci, Spicer and Priebus sought to excel in the art of ego-stroking. May these moments serve as a cautionary tale for all of Trump's new appointments: Cozying up to Trump, expressing loyalty, adoration or love didn't keep Scaramucci, Priebus or Spicer from an early exit. They might be gone or on their way out from the White House, but their praise of President Trump lives on forever on the Internet.
Honorable Mention: Sean Spicer
Skill: Adept at using exaggeration and superlatives to describe Trump's daily dealings.
From day one, we got a sense of what kind of press secretary Spicer would be when he held a news conference in which he made false claims about the crowd size at Trump's inauguration. The Washington Post FactChecker gave Spicer four Pinocchios for calling the crowd the “largest audience ever to witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.” Just one day into his role, it was clear Spicer had a penchant for exaggeration and superlatives. While the initial news conference is certainly a regrettable moment, Spicer gets a pass because he was forced out there by Trump, who was angered by news coverage of the event. Spicer earns an honorable mention in the “most-regrettable” race for his (incredible) comments following Trump's first trip abroad:
“I want to begin by recapping the incredible, historic trip that the president and the first lady have just concluded, because it truly was an extraordinary week for America and our people,” he said.
“It was an unprecedented first trip abroad, just four months into this administration, and it shows how quickly and decisively the president is acting to strengthen alliances, to form new partnerships, and to rebuild America’s standing in the world,” said Spicer.
“We’ve never seen before at this point in a presidency such sweeping reassurance of American interest and the inauguration of a foreign policy strategy designed to bring back the world from growing dangers and perpetual disasters brought on by years of failed leadership,” he continued.
“This was an extraordinarily successful and historic nine-day trip the president took,” said Spicer.
Runner-Up: Reince Priebus
Skill: Masterfully blurs the line between praise and prayer.
Who can forget the bizarre Cabinet meeting in which each member lavished praise upon the president? “Just the greatest privilege of my life ... ,” said Vice President Pence. “A great honor to work with you,” said Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The praise for Trump and his agenda flowed from each person, but the unfortunate honor of runner-up in the “most-regrettable” race goes to Reince Priebus, who elevated his gratitude for serving Trump to spiritual levels. The chief of staff's remarks were so memorable that Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) posted a video to Twitter trolling Priebus for his comments.
“On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people,” Priebus said. “And we're continuing to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals.”
First Prize: Anthony Scaramucci
Skill: A willingness to bare it all, confidently and repeatedly, in front of a skeptical crowd.
Scaramucci can claim many titles during his time as White House communications director. He will certainly be known for having the shortest stay on the job and for being the most-foul mouthed member of the administration. But Scaramucci wins first prize in the “most regrettable” race for being the one who used the “L-word” first. During a White House press briefing following Spicer's resignation, Scarmucci openly declared his love for the president. Not once, or twice, but five times. Unfortunately, Scaramucci's feelings don't seem to be mutual. Trump said, “Anthony is a person I have great respect for,” in a statement read by Sarah Huckabee Sanders announcing his hiring. To which Scaramucci responded, “I love the president,” over and over again.
“I said during the transition, and I’ll say it up here, I think there has been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president, and the way some of you perhaps see the president,” said Scaramucci.
“I love the president. I obviously love the country. Look at my life experience here in the country, and so it’s an honor to be here. It’s an honor to stand here actually,” he continued.
“But I love the president, and I’m very, very loyal to the president. And I love the mission that the president has, okay?”
“I love the president, and I think a lot of you guys know in the media, I’ve been very, very loyal to him, and I’m going to do the best I can with my heart and soul in this job and try to serve in the best way that I can,” he said.
“But here’s what I will tell you: I love the president, and the president is a very, very effective communicator … ” he said.