The untold truth of Sean Spicer

It's rare for the entire country to know the name of the White House press secretary, but that was certainly the case for Sean Spicer, who made headlines almost every day since President Donald J. Trump took office on Jan. 21, 2017. What was it about Spicer that's captivated a nation, for better or worse? Let's find out.

He got off to a rough start

Spicer quickly became a household name—and not for great reasons—thanks to his first official press conference, during which he alleged that Trump's inauguration drew the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe." Spicer's claims, dubbed "Spicergate" by Vox, were widely disputed by the press, leading top publications such as The New York Times to flat-out accuse him, and therefore the Trump administration, of lying.

Spicer stuck by his claims, later telling the press (via The Guardian): "Sometimes we can disagree with the facts." Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway also defended Spicer by referring to his statements as "alternative facts," which, yeah—we're just gonna leave that one be.

Melissa McCarthy's impression of Spicer allegedly made Trump upset

Although actress Melissa McCarthy's surprise impersonation of Spicer on the Feb. 4, 2017 episode of Saturday Night Live drew big laughs and rave reviews, it allegedly did not sit well with certain people inside the White House. According to Politico, Trump was allegedly very unhappy with the skit, most of all because Spicer was portrayed by a woman. "Trump doesn't like his people to look weak," a source told the site. "Trump's uncharacteristic Twitter silence…about the Saturday Night Live sketch was seen internally as a sign of how uncomfortable it made the White House feel," Politico reported. "Sources said the caricature of Spicer by McCarthy struck a nerve and was upsetting to the press secretary and to his allies, who immediately saw how damaging it could be in Trump world."

But Spicer took it in stride

Even if the McCarthy impersonation did cause stress within the White House, at least in public, Spicer appeared to take the entire thing in stride. Speaking to Extra shortly after the skit aired, he quipped that McCarthy "needs to slow down on the gum chewing; way too many pieces in there." He also admitted the show was "funny" but told Extra the Oscar-nominated actress "could dial back" her impression of him.

In July 2017, Spicer again spoke about McCarthy's impression with Fox News' Sean Hannity (via CNN). "I think that there were some parts of it that were funny, but there's a lot of it that was over the line," he said. "It wasn't funny. It was stupid, or silly, or malicious … I'm a prankster, I like a good joke. I think when it's funny, it's funny. Sometimes it goes from funny to mean."

Yes, he really chews a lot of gum

After McCarthy's sketch aired, many people wondered: does Spicer really chew that much gum, as Saturday Night Live suggested? He does, at least according to a 2016 profile by The Washington Post, which highlighted his love of Orbit cinnamon gum. "Two and a half packs by noon," he said of his chewing habit. "I talked to my doctor about it, he said it's no problem."

Did he accidentally tweet his password?

In January 2017, as the Trump administration was settling into the White House, the internet discovered a tweet by Spicer that appeared to have been posted by mistake. Not the Anthony Weiner kind, but still, posting "n9y25ah7" to your thousands of followers is going to raise a few eyebrows, especially when you're the White House press secretary. This led publications such as GQ to speculate that maybe, just maybe, Spicer had tweeted his password. Other twitter users took a more humorous approach, pondering if Spicer had perhaps tweeted the nation's nuclear codes. At the time of this writing, the mystery of what "n9y25ah7" means remains unsolved. The country has since moved on to other tweets—like, you know, the ones posted by his boss.

He caught the political bug in college

According to a 2016 profile by The Washington Post, Spicer—who grew up with "never particularly political" parents—first got into politics while a student at Connecticut College. "Surrounded by liberal classmates, he began to think of himself as Republican," the article said. "His agenda wasn't particularly partisan—working to ban smoking in a dining hall, fighting for cable TV in the dorms." According to the Post, Spicer's love for politics grew during his junior year while he studied at American University, in Washington, D.C. The rest, of course, is history.

He had a feud with Dippin' Dots

He may love Orbit chewing gum, but Spicer apparently doesn't hold the same torch for the ice cream brand Dippin' Dots. In 2017, online sleuths uncovered tweets Spicer posted over the years debating if Dippin' Dots was actually the ice cream of the future. The discovery attracted so much press, Dippin' Dots wrote an open letter to Spicer and posted it on its website: "We've seen your tweets and would like to be friends rather than foes," the company's chief executive, Scott Fischer, wrote. "As you may or may not know, Dippin' Dots are made in Kentucky by hundreds of hard working Americans in the heartland of our great country. As a company, we're doing great. We've enjoyed double-digit growth in sales for the past three years. That means we're creating jobs and opportunities. We hear that's on your agenda too." Fischer closed with, "We can even afford to treat the White House and press corps to an ice cream social. What do you say?"

People trolled him on Venmo

Memo to Spicer: you might want to think about erasing your presence on the internet. Shortly after the Dippin' Dots debacle, folks found out Spicer still had a public profile on the payment app Venmo. Naturally, people had a field day with this bit of information and began requesting compensation from him for various Trump-related scandals, including the fake Bowling Green 'massacre', according to New York magazine.

He used to be the White House Easter Bunny

Being Trump's press secretary wasn't Spicer's first job at the White House. During the George W. Bush administration, Spicer would play the part of the Easter Bunny to entertain children during the White House Easter Egg Roll. While the Trump administration hit a few road bumps with its first Easter Egg Roll, notably when the president gave an odd stump speech to a group of grade schoolers, Spicer kept his sense of humor going and joked on Twitter, "The good ole days—what I would give to hide in a bunny costume again."

He started to become a mini-Trump

Shortly after Spicer's disastrous first press conference, which almost got him fired, the press secretary reportedly started to display a change in skin color. His face took on an orange tone similar to Trump's, which is just weird. Spicer would later develop a habit for trying to pull off some of the president's "power moves." The day after Trump stomped away from an interview with John Dickerson, Spicer abruptly walked out of a White House press briefing, leaving a room full of confused reporters. If Spicer starts firing off early morning tweets, we might get concerned.

A flag pin mixup led to internet trolling

During a March 2017 press briefing, Spicer took the podium while wearing his American flag pin upside down, which has special significance. According to TIME, "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property." Considering who Spicer works for, the jokes came fast and furious. Spicer took the ribbing like a champ, and clearly, he didn't mean to signal that he needed to be rescued from the White House. Or did he?

He doesn't think Trump owns a bathrobe

Following a report in The New York Times that claimed Trump sits around the White House in a bathrobe watching TV, Spicer became a tad overzealous in defending the president. According to The Hill, Spicer told reporters aboard Air Force One, "I don't think the president owns a bathrobe; he definitely doesn't wear one." After Spicer's comments, Twitter was instantly flooded with images of Trump wearing a bathrobe. It wasn't a bright point for Spicer, but it could've been worse. He could've defended Adolf Hitler.

He accidentally defended Hitler

During a press briefing explaining Trump's orders to bomb Syria, Spicer made the odd decision to make Hitler look like a good guy. It was not the best move. According to The Guardian:, he tried to reinforce that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a bad man by making him seem worse than Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. "We didn't use chemical weapons in World War Two. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons," Spicer said. After realizing his gaffe, Spicer managed to dig himself even deeper. "I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing." (As Politifact noted, Hitler absolutely gassed his own people.)

Spicer apologized to Wolf Blitzer later that day, but most pundits assumed this was the end of his career. The Anne Frank Center called for his termination, but Trump kept him around because "the guy gets great ratings." Generally, that's not a good reason to keep a press secretary on the payroll, but Trump wasn't wrong. People love watching Spicer do his thing. Whatever that might be.

He's not above hiding in the bushes

After the bombshell news that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Spicer was noticeably reluctant to address the growing controversy and reportedly hid in the White House bushes, according to The Washington Post. Two days later, Spicer told Politico that the Post "grossly misstated the situation around our attempt to brief the press," but it was too late for Spicer. He was already a hilarious meme.

He resigned in a blaze of glory

And just like that, it was all over. On July 21, 2017, Spicer resigned from his position as White House press secretary. According to The New York Times, Spicer's resignation was triggered when Trump hired Wall Street financier Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci to be his new communications director, an appointment Spicer "vehemently disagreed with." Trump reportedly asked Spicer to stay, but Spicer declined due to "his belief that Mr. Scaramucci's hiring would add to the confusion and uncertainty already engulfing the White House."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was subsequently hired as Spicer's replacement. Huckabee Sanders had been periodically filling in for Spencer throughout 2017, sparking speculation that his days in the White House were numbered.