After a brief, troubled tenure as White House press secretary during Donald Trump’s first six months as US president, Sean Spicer resigned from his post. One year later, the endlessly mocked and memed man is back—this time hamming it up, with a palpable sense of relief that he has moved on from the White House.
At the publishing convention BookExpo today in New York City, Spicer appeared to promote his book, The Briefing, out July 24 from the conservative book publisher Regnery. In an interview with his publisher, Marjory Grant Ross, under the glare of convention center lights, Spicer reiterated how pleased he is to be out of the daily news cycle—and to have had the chance to write his book. “I saved a lot on my therapy bills, because it was very cathartic and therapeutic,” he said.
Throughout the interview Spicer objected to the way his every move became fodder for comedy and criticism while he was in the White House. He was widely mocked for his brusque and sometimes irate mannerisms (most memorably by Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Night Live), and for his personal habits, such as reportedly swallowing dozens of sticks of chewing gum each day.
“The intensity and scrutiny that no matter what I did, it was going to become a meme…” Spicer said, not finishing his sentence. ”I mean who cares? Some people drink coffee; I eat a lot of cinnamon gum!”
In the interview, Spicer came across as relaxed and relateable, even funny at times. As he embarks upon the publicity tour for his new book, he may well achieve the softening of his public image that former FBI director James Comey managed to pull off when he released his memoir.
Still, gum aside, many will remember “Spicey” forever for his lowest points as White House press secretary: among them, his inflation of the Trump inauguration crowds; his weird praise of Adolf Hitler for not using chemical weapons; and the way he tried to make untrue statements into facts by saying the word “period” at the end.