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White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday morning, six months and one day after he first started addressing reporters on behalf of President Donald Trump.
Spicer was well-known for his often combative exchanges with journalists gathered for the daily White House press briefing. The briefings were considered must-see television, but in recent weeks they’ve moved to an audio-only format as Spicer took on a more behind-the-scenes role.
Here’s a look back at some of Spicer’s most well-known moments:
That time he misspoke and made up a terror attack in Atlanta:
Shortly after becoming press secretary, Spicer drew raised brows for referencing a terror attack in Atlanta in an effort to highlight the Trump administration’s need to act on Islamic terrorism.
“I don’t think you have to look any further than the families of the Boston Marathon, in Atlanta, in San Bernardino to ask if we can go further,” Spicer said in January. “There’s obviously steps that we can and should be taking, and I think the president is going to continue do to what he can to make sure that this country is as safe as possible."
Of course, no such terror attack has ever occurred in Atlanta. The city has seen attacks at least twice before, in 1958 and 1996. However, the terrorists in those cases were not Muslim.
Spicer later explained in an email to ABC News that he “clearly meant Orlando,” referencing the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.
That time he kind of explained Trump’s use of “covfefe”:
The president is well-known for speaking his mind on Twitter, even when his thoughts run contrary to statements made by his own administration. In an early morning tweet in May, Trump wrote that “despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
No, covfefe is not a word, and no, Trump never explained what he meant.
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
But Spicer didn’t see anything wrong with the message, which was described as “incoherent” and sparked mockery across social media.
“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer claimed.
That time he tried to say Hitler never used chemical weapons:
Spicer, apparently forgetting the entire Holocaust, claimed at a news briefing in April that “someone as despicable as Hitler … didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
The comment came as he tried to highlight the horror of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of sarin gas on civilians. But Spicer’s comments drew quick rebukes on social media and from reporters in the room.
He attempted to explain himself.
"(Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing," he said. "He brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that."
As you can probably guess, people did not like Spicer calling concentration camps “Holocaust centers” either.
That time he tried to explain the ridiculousness of the Trump-Russia controversy with salad dressing:
Apparently frustrated over continued scrutiny amid investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, Spicer got short in March with April Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks.
"If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection," Spicer said. He later demanded that Ryan stop shaking her head.
That time he accidentally wore his U.S. flag lapel pin upside-down:
Sean Spicer's flag pin was just upside down.— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) March 10, 2017
Reporter asks if it is a distress call.
Spicer says he's fine. pic.twitter.com/jbHOv43Rdv
That time he said President Donald Trump had the biggest inauguration audience ever:
Who can forget Spicer’s first news conference as press secretary, when he admonished reporters for comparing images of President Donald Trump’s inauguration to photos of President Barack Obama’s?
"Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall," Spicer said on Jan. 21 at a terse news conference. "That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe."
Multiple fact-checking groups subsequently rated Spicer's claim anywhere from unprovable to outright false. Politifact gave his claim a "Pants on Fire" rating, the category used by the group to single out what it determines to be the most flagrant lies.