Despite Sean Spicer’s claims to the contrary early on Monday, it appears that Melissa McCarthy’s skit depicting Spicer hit a nerve with both the Press Secretary and the President.
“Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” a top Trump donor told Politico on Monday, speaking about the Saturday Night Live spoof of Sean Spicer by a gum chomping, water-gun wielding Melissa McCarthy.
Surprisingly — or maybe not — it was not McCarthy’s depiction of a press secretary who makes up facts and lies that was problematic with the White House. It was that the portrayal was by a woman that appears to have gotten under certain people’s skin. According to Politico, “the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job in which he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the ‘opposition party,’ and developing a functional relationship with the press.
Early on Monday, a visibly uncomfortable Sean Spicer tried to laugh off the skit, even offering advice for McCarthy’s Spicer, telling NBC’s “Extra” that he thought that she “could dial back” and specifically that she “needs to slow down the gum chewing. Way too many pieces there.”
Asked about his reaction to the SNL skit, the Press Secretary said “It doesn’t really matter what I think.”
Trump, however, was uncharacteristically silent about the matter on Twitter. That “was seen internally as a sign of how uncomfortable it made the White House feel. 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.”