White House rattled by McCarthy’s spoof of Spicer

The devastating “Saturday Night Live” caricature of Sean Spicer that aired over the weekend, played by Melissa McCarthy, did not go over well internally at a White House where looks matter. | POLITICO Screen grab

As the press secretary for a President who’s obsessed with how things play on cable TV, Sean Spicer’s real audience during his daily televised press briefings has always been an audience of one.

And the devastating “Saturday Night Live” caricature of Spicer that aired over the weekend — in which a belligerent Spicer was spoofed by a gum-chomping, super soaker-wielding Melissa McCarthy in drag — did not go over well internally at a White House where looks matter.

More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job, where 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.

“Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” added a top Trump donor.

Trump’s uncharacteristic Twitter silence over the weekend about the “Saturday Night Live” sketch 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 Trumpworld.

Spicer on Monday was traveling aboard Air Force One from Florida to Washington, D.C., and gamely shrugged off the spoof that was playing in loops on cable news throughout the day.

McCarthy, he said, “needs to slow down on the gum chewing; way too many pieces in there,” he joked in an interview with Extra.

And on Monday, Spicer’s allies were trying…