On a day when social media platforms are in crisis, the White House has tapped a former CNN reporter to help steer the administration’s efforts to reshape the media.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who had previously worked as an editor for the cable network, will take the lead in crafting the Trump administration’s strategy for changing how the media covers the president and his administration, according to a copy of his hiring announcement obtained by The Associated Press.
The decision is part of a concerted effort to reshaping media coverage of Trump and the administration, which Spicer said will include a series of “transformative, new initiatives.”
Spicer is the second top White House official to take on the role of media czar.
The first was former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired in May after a series, including a tweet accusing a CNN journalist of being a “disgrace to the media.”
Spicer was hired in May to lead the White the media transition.
He also worked as a White House reporter for CNN in the early 1990s and as a reporter for ABC News and NBC News in the 1990s.
He has also reported for The Washington Times, the Associated Press and The Associated International News Agency.
The White House announced his hiring in an early-morning tweet.
Spicer previously served as an assistant White House correspondent for ABC in the mid-1990s, before leaving to become a political commentator on Fox News.
He then moved on to CNN.
Spicer also worked at the Washington Post as a national political correspondent, covering Congress and other issues.
Spicer’s hire comes as CNN and other news organizations are grappling with an unprecedented level of criticism from Trump, who has accused the news media of “fake news” and is trying to discredit outlets that report unflattering stories about him.
In recent days, the president has been accused of targeting the media with a slew of false claims about former president Barack Obama, including one in which he claimed that the former president “was wiretapped” in the 2016 presidential campaign.
“We’re going to have to look at some of the things that we said,” Spicer said during his confirmation hearing.
“Some of the stories that you’ve heard in the past have been factually inaccurate.
We’ll look at those things as well.”
Spicer, in his announcement, called on journalists to “exercise their journalism responsibly” and said he is “dedicated to making sure that we maintain the highest standards of journalism.”
“As a former television reporter and as someone who has worked on a number of newsrooms around the country, I have the utmost respect for the journalism profession,” Spicer added.
“I’m committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that we all do our jobs with the utmost integrity.”
Trump has repeatedly questioned the accuracy of the media and has repeatedly lashed out at the news outlets for their coverage of his administration.
Spicer has said he has “great confidence” in Trump, though the White Senate has said it has not spoken with the president.