White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who often talks about his deep Catholic faith, was conspicuously absent on Wednesday as President Donald Trump and his entourage had an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, The Hill reports.
Odd because present at the meeting — part of Trump's first foreign trip as president — were his top trusted team members: first lady Melania Trump, first daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and State Department policy planner Brian Hook.
Also in attendance were national security adviser H.R. McMaster, security chief Keith Schiller and two members of Trump's communications team, aide Hope Hicks and social media director Dan Scavino, the Hill reported.
So where was Spicer? Several news outlets said it indicated Spicer's diminished status as Trump's top communications officer. But that theory was pooh-poohed by the White House.
"It is not surprising that gossip-obsessed outlets like CNN and Politico would rather fan another round of ridiculous palace intrigue stories to distract from the president's historic and extremely successful trip," a White House official told the Hill. "Frankly, it's pathetic and voters couldn't care less."
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