(Photo of Sean Spicer at a White House press conference is from gq.com.)
The official story is that former Press Secretary and acting White House Communications Director Sean Spicer resigned. That may be technically true, but it seems obvious to me that he was pushed out of his position at the White House. And he was pushed out by the liar-in-chief himself -- Donald Trump.
Although both are disingenuous, there is a difference between political spin and an obvious lie. Spicer, like most in Washington (of both parties) was rather good at political spin (the art of emphasizing the positives in something while ignoring the negatives). But Spicer was not good at defending obvious and outrageous lies -- and Trump has told a ton of them (expecting his aides to vigorously defend them).
When trying to defend an obvious Trump lie, Spicer often looked like a deer in the headlights of a Big Rig barreling down on him -- and that was obvious to both the general public and Donald Trump. And to his credit, Spicer never got any better at defending those obvious lies.
Trump was not happy, and the search began for someone who could better defend the many lies he told. They tried Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and she proved to be adept at it. She defended the Trump lies with gusto and with a straight face -- and watching her, one could think she believed those lies to the very depths of her being.
The job of Press Secretary became a two-pronged thing. Spicer still did some conferences -- but only the audio-only ones (where that "deer in the headlights" look couldn't be seen by the public). When the cameras were allowed, Sanders took over.
This was insulting, but Spicer was still the acting Communications Director. So he continued working at the White House. Then Trump hired a Wall Street buddy for that job -- Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci is a true believer, and in his first bout with the press showed he was both a stout defender of Trump lies, and an adept liar in his own right.
That left Spicer out in the cold. He was no longer the acting Communications Director, and although he still held the title of Press Secretary, in actuality that was now the job of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Spicer was a third wheel, with no real job left. What little dignity he had left demanded that he submit his resignation -- and that was just what Trump wanted.
Trump has no regard at all for truth, and only a passing interest in competence. What he demands of an employee is loyalty -- and his version of loyalty means to vigorously and wholeheartedly defend whatever outrageous thing comes out of his mouth (no matter how untrue it may be). Sanders and Scaramucci are good at that -- Spicer was not. And that's why he was pushed out of his job at the White House.