Mr. Spicer, who said he still gave paid speeches and recently bought a summer home in Newport, R.I., said he really wasn’t in it for the money. “I’ve got two businesses that are in a really good place right now, on the political side and on the consulting side,” he said. “My partners have been very supportive of picking up the slack.”
Over the past two years, Mr. Spicer has expressed regret for barking falsehoods about the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd at the press, and tried to embrace the comedian Melissa McCarthy’s unflattering but indelible “Saturday Night Live” caricature of him by appearing at the Emmys on a rolling podium with some self-effacing jokes in hand.
But he has also heeled close to Mr. Trump, never breaking with him in a way that could jeopardize the president’s future support, or his own future in a party that is still defined by its fealty to Mr. Trump. In his book, “The Briefing,” Mr. Spicer describes Mr. Trump as a “rock star” and a “unicorn.”
He made a special appearance at Madame Tussauds, the wax museum, to unveil a statue of the first lady, Melania Trump. Mr. Trump returned the favor, publicizing Mr. Spicer’s dancing debut. “Just heard that Sean Spicer will be on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter last month. “He will do great. A terrific person who loves our Country dearly!”
Mr. Spicer is also counting on the president’s support to continue appearing on the show. Mr. Trump, according to someone familiar with the plans, is expected to weigh in on Twitter again with his support ahead of ABC’s vote next week, which will decide whether Mr. Spicer advances to another round. Mr. Spicer’s pay, reportedly $125,000, increases each week he is able to hang on.
“Clearly the judges aren’t going to be with me,” Mr. Spicer tweeted on Tuesday, after Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, expressed support for him online. “Let’s send a message to #Hollywood that those of us who stand for #Christ won’t be discounted.” The tweet did not land with the grace of a pirouette.
“Imagine time-traveling back to 2009, amid ferocious battles over bailouts, spending, taxation, Obamacare, and the role of government in our lives, and being told the Republican Party of 2019 would look like this,” Tim Alberta, the author of “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump,” responded on Twitter.