Search for Trump press secretary, communications director heating up

press secretary candidates

Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee communications director, is a leading candidate to serve as White House press secretary under Donald Trump, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

Spicer has "the inside track," said one transition source.

A six-year veteran of the RNC, Spicer has well-established relationships with the Washington press corps and is a familiar face on both cable news and the D.C. social circuit. Yet he can also be combative, and is known for unleashing his Twitter account on reporters and news organizations if he feels he's been wronged by them.

On Wednesday, Spicer praised Trump's transparency during the transition -- despite Trump's decision to postpone his first press conference as president-elect until January.

"What we've seen in government for so often is that people have been shady -- about their roles, hiding things, not releasing things. We have a camera for goodness sake. Every single person who enters Trump Tower, you get to see them go up, go down, they talk to the press," Spicer said in an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan.

"At some point, the level of transparency has exceeded any modern president in terms of who's involved," he said.

Several people are also in contention for the White House communications director role, including Chris Vlasto, a veteran ABC News producer. Vlasto is the executive producer of "Good Morning America," the network's flagship morning show. A source with knowledge of the talks confirmed that Vlasto has held discussions with Trump aides about the role.

"I was approached about a job in the new administration. I had preliminary conversations with the transition team, and I've taken my name out of consideration," Vlasto said in a statement.

Transition spokesperson Jason Miller is also said to be a possible choice for communications director.

Other names under consideration for the press secretary post include Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Monica Crowley. Sources at both the transition and Fox News said they believed both were long shots for the position, though, in part because it would require taking a pay cut.

Katrina Pierson, a Trump campaign spokesperson who has made multiple visits to Trump Tower this week, has pitched herself for the press secretary position but is not believed to be a top contender, according to transition sources.

"She is looking at a lot of opportunities," one Trump transition source said of Pierson.

Pierson told CNNMoney, "I'm at Trump Tower because I work here. I'm a Senior Advisor for the Trump Transition team. Our meetings are confidential."

David Martosko, the Daily Mail political editor who covered the Trump campaign and was spotted at Trump Tower this week, is not under consideration for the job, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

-- CNN's Brian Stelter contributed reporting.


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