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The press secretary for recently inaugurated president Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, held his first press conference on Saturday and immediately started making waves on social media with his comments bashing the media and its coverage of Friday’s crowds at the inauguration.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness the inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said of the crowd gathered to witness the swearing-in of Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Despite his claim, Spicer did not provide numbers to back it up “because the National Park Service does not put any out.”
Over the next four years, Americans will get to know more and more about Spicer as he holds future press conferences, but for the time being, here’s a list of things to help you get better acquainted with the new White House press secretary.
1. His wife worked in the White House during the Bush administration and was also a television news producer.
Spicer’s wife, Rebecca Miller Spicer, was the associate director of communications for President George W. Bush. She also worked as a producer for the evening news on Washington, D.C.’s ABC affiliate and held television positions in Houston, Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., and New Haven, Conn. Spicer himself also worked for the Bush administration as the assistant United States trade representative for media and public affairs.
2. He criticized Trump’s comments about Sen. John McCain.
Following Trump’s comments criticizing McCain’s military history and time as a prisoner of war, Spicer, then the communications director for the Republican National Committee, released a statement in June 2015, stating, “Senator McCain is an American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most can imagine. Period. There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”
3. He criticized Trump’s comments about Mexicans.
In 2015, Trump made comments about Mexican immigrants, saying that “they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.” Spicer appeared on CNN shortly after and said, “As far as painting Mexican-Americans with that kind of brush, I think it’s not helpful to the cause.”
4. He thinks CNN’s Jim Acosta owes Trump an apology.
In a now-infamous press conference following the release of unsubstantiated, unverified Russian reports containing salacious information about Trump, the then-president-elect shut down CNN reporter Acosta’s questions, calling him and his outlet “fake news.” Acosta still attempted to ask his question, an action Trump deemed “rude.” Spicer apparently agreed with Trump’s assessment and said he thought Acosta owed Trump an apology during an appearance on Fox & Friends in January.
5. He’s a member of the Navy Reserve and has a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
Spicer joined the reserve in 1999 and earned his master’s in 2012.
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