News & Politics

Exclusive: White House Has Interviewed Carl Higbie for Press Secretary

It’s unclear what this means for Sean Spicer.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer arrives at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House for the daily briefing, on February 8, 2017 in Washington, DC (Photo by Riccardo Savi via AP Images)

Carl Higbie has interviewed for the position of White House press secretary, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the matter.

“Well, I can say that I’ve offered my services,” Higbie confirms for Washingtonian when reached by phone. “I haven’t heard back from the administration yet. I’m honored to be even considered for this.” Higbie says he has spoken with “a number of people” in interview rounds for the post. 

Higbie interviewed for the position on Thursday, according to the sources. Higbie declined to confirm this. On Twitter Friday night after this story was originally published, Higbie said he has had no formal interviews.

Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, is close with the Trump family, particularly Eric Trump, whom he met in the green room after appearing on the Kelly File last year. He was one of the first official surrogates for the president on the campaign trail. He was also spokesman for the Great America PAC, which purported to earmark donations “from the grassroots” for the Trump campaign.

Higbie sparked the wires this week after stating on CNN that Senator John McCain — with his own history of “crashing planes” in Vietnam — should apologize for suggesting that the Yemen raid was “unsuccessful.” He found himself in a heated Twitter exchange with Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter, over his comments.

It’s unclear what this means for the future of Sean Spicer’s post as press secretary, or whether he will take on the role of communications director. The post has been vacant since Jason Miller, dogged by allegations of an affair with a fellow aide, stepped down before Trump’s inauguration.

The White House did not return a request for comment immediately. 

Staff Writer

Elaina Plott joined Washingtonian in June 2016 as a staff writer. She has written about her past life as an Ann Coulter fangirl, how the Obamas changed Washington, and the rise and fall of Roll Call. She previously covered Congress for National Review. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.