White House press secretary Sean Spicer was absent from the podium at Monday’s press briefing, instead being run by deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
When asked about Spicer’s whereabouts by correspondent April Ryan, Huckabee Sanders replied:
“He’s here today. This is part of my job as well. Did you guys ever ask any of the other deputy press secretaries when they filled in?”
Asked if Spicer was taking on new responsibilities with the resignation of Mike Dubke, former communications director, Huckabee Sanders answered that “I mean, he is taking on a little bit of extra duty at this point. It’s probably upgraded at this point given that we don’t have a communications director.”
Dubke resigned as communications director on May 18, although he remained on staff during President Trump’s first international trip as president and only recently officially left his post.
Huckabee Sanders rejected any hint that Spicer’s role in the White House was being reassessed. “I’m just filling in for the day,” she said. “There are a lot of demands on his schedule, particularly given the fact that there’s not a communications director, and this is part of my job as well and when I’m needed I’ll step in. Nothing other than that.”