sean spicer dana bash _00030115.jpg
sean spicer dana bash _00030115.jpg
Now playing
03:01
Who is Sean Spicer?
NBC
Now playing
00:59
Spicer laughs when asked about defending false Trump claims
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 06:  White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer listens during the daily briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Spicer held the daily briefing to answer questions from the members of the White House press corps.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 06: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer listens during the daily briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Spicer held the daily briefing to answer questions from the members of the White House press corps. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:50
Spicer: Daily White House briefings 'not worth it'
HLN
Now playing
02:24
Spicer explains inaugural crowd size remarks
HLN
Now playing
01:01
Spicer: There was a scrutiny never seen before
HLN
Now playing
02:17
Jones: Things Spicer said hard to explain
sean spicer se cupp intv i screwed up sot_00002719.jpg
sean spicer se cupp intv i screwed up sot_00002719.jpg
Now playing
00:58
Sean Spicer: 'I screwed up' as press secretary
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:04
Spicer's Emmy appearance gets mixed reviews
spicer kimmel 9.14
abc/"jimmy kimmel live!"
spicer kimmel 9.14
Now playing
01:10
Sean Spicer makes first late night appearance
Sean Spicer SNL Melissa McCarthy wxp_00000000.jpg
Fox News / "Saturday Night Live"
Sean Spicer SNL Melissa McCarthy wxp_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:01
Spicer on 'SNL': A lot of it was over the line
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12:  White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducts a White House daily briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 12, 2017 in Washington, DC.  White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held his daily briefing and answered questions surrounding U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session's role in the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducts a White House daily briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held his daily briefing and answered questions surrounding U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session's role in the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:25
Spicer talks to CNN about resignation
Getty Images
Now playing
02:11
Spicer's most eventful press briefings
some things spicer hasn't said to trump orig allee_00000000.jpg
some things spicer hasn't said to trump orig allee_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:22
What Spicer and Trump don't talk about
Getty Images, CNNMoney
Now playing
01:11
Spicer explains reason for off-camera briefing
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, May 10, 2017.
Now playing
01:04
Who is Sarah Huckabee Sanders?
NBC/Broadway Video
Now playing
02:03
'Spicey' returns to 'SNL'

Story highlights

Spicer has served in two roles

SNL spoofed his performance in a recent skit

Washington CNN —  

The White House is ramping up its search for a new communications director in an effort to lighten the load of embattled White House press secretary Sean Spicer, multiple sources told CNN.

A source familiar with internal communications said President Donald Trump is disappointed in Spicer’s performance during the first two weeks of the administration.

Spicer has served as both White House press secretary and communications director for the new administration. Those roles are typically filled by two staffers.

Former Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller was originally tapped to serve as communications director for the White House, but Miller stepped aside before Inauguration Day to spend more time with his family.

A longtime Republican operative, Spicer is a close ally of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. According to the source close to the hiring process, Trump is upset with Priebus over the selection of Spicer for arguably the administration’s most visible position, next to the President.

02:03 - Source: CNN
Melissa McCarthy targets Spicer on 'SNL'

“Priebus vouched for Spicer and against Trump’s instincts,” the source said.

The President “regrets it every day and blames Priebus,” the source added.

But a senior administration official says Trump supports Spicer “100%.”

A separate West Wing source pushed back on the notion that Spicer is suddenly unpopular with Trump, saying “nothing could be further from the truth.”

Multiple sources have told CNN that Spicer was not Trump’s first choice for press secretary. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was offered the position but turned it down. Other candidates including Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle were interviewed for the job during the transition.

Spicer did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Spicer has come under withering criticism during his first two weeks. In his first appearance in the White House briefing room on the President’s first full day in office, Spicer berated reporters, accusing them of intentionally downplaying the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration.

00:34 - Source: CNN
Spicer: Attacks not getting deserved attention

But in his criticism of the media, Spicer used incomplete data and dubious assertions in making his case. Conway later brushed off criticisms of Spicer, saying the press secretary was utilizing “alternative facts,” a phrase that went viral in social media.

Over the weekend, Spicer was played by comedian Melissa McCarthy in a scathing skit on the daily White House press briefing on Saturday Night Live.

The President, sources say, was not amused by the performance.

The White House is looking at outside candidates to serve in the role of communications director, the source familiar with the process said.

“Needs to be filled more than ever,” the source said.