9:29pm PT by Patrick Shanley
Sean Spicer Explains Why He Resigned From White House: "I Had Become the Story Too Often"
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer joined Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday night to discuss his memoir The Briefing: Politics, The Press, and The President, about his time working for President Donald Trump in 2017.
Spicer, who was criticized by the media often for his press conferences, was asked by Kimmel immediately, "Do you have a feeling of great relief and calm now that you've moved on?"
"I take a long time before I get to the tweets," Spicer said of Trump's social media habits, something he was questioned about often in his time as press secretary.
Still, Spicer said he still speaks with Trump on occasion. "As often as he likes," Spicer said. "I do not call him, I wait to be called."
Spicer also shared a story about the first time Trump called him after a television appearance. "The first time, it was right after your show," Spicer told Kimmel. "He said, 'great job on Jimmy Kimmel.'"
Eventually, Kimmel's questions took a more serious turn and he asked Spicer pointedly, "Which is more important, loyalty or the truth?"
"I don’t think its a binary choice," Spicer responded. "I don’t think you have to choose one or the other." He went on to say that it was a kill-the-messenger scenario in "many cases."
When asked why he resigned in July of 2017 from his position in the White House, Spicer said, "I had become the story too often. That’s not a good place for a spokesperson to be. I knew it wasn’t getting better and I wanted to make sure that I was ready because at some point I knew the end was coming, and I knew it was sooner than later."
Kimmel asked if he had been talked out of leaving, to which Spicer responded that Trump had "asked me to stay."
As for the ridicule he received during his time at the post (and particularly his mother's reaction) Spicer said, "My mom, my dad and my wife have been my strongest advocates and supporters. There were times when she felt for me in a way only a mother can.”
When asked if he had any advice for Rudy Giuliani as he defends Trump against allegations of collusion, Spicer said, "I would not want to give a ton of advice right now, I'll let them figure out the message."
On the issue of "fake news", Spicer said, "I think like every industry, there's good and there's bad ... I think it's important to recognize the good if you're going to point out the bad."