It is not easy being Press Secretary to an unpredictable president with a fondness for posting early-morning Tweets.
At times Sean Spicer has found himself agonising over the addition or absence of the word “is” in a sentence as he tries to keep the White House message together amid flip-flopping policy and gaffes.
And his combative style has earned him the status of late-night comedy punchline, lampooned by the comedian Melissa McCarthy as a gum chewing, name-taking, patronising caricature on Saturday Night Live.
Yet his press briefings have become unmissable political theatre during Mr Trump’s first 100 days as president as he responds to the day’s latest crisis, tries to explain away Tweets or kick awkward problems into the long grass with a unique blend of confrontation and self-deprecation.
He suffered a rocky start. During the first weekend, he was forced in to bat for the president over the size of Mr Trump’s inauguration crowds after photographs showed it to be much smaller than Barack Obama’s.
In a five-minute statement riddled with inaccuracies, he said it was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”.
It was not and it cost him early credibility.
His early misstep was characteristic of a White House filled with inexperienced operatives and wondering how to work in a world of “alternative facts” - as Kellyanne Conway put it.
Since then he has won his fair share of admirers as the administration’s most public face, after Mr Trump himself. He is frequently stopped for selfies in the street.
It is difficult not to admire a man who has to somehow defend his boss’s evidence-free allegations that the phones in Trump Tower were tapped on Barack Obama’s orders
An unconventional claim required an unconventional response. Standing at the lectern in the Brady Press Room, Mr Spicer simply read from a string of news reports, quoting The New York Times, Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Heat Street and Circa News, which he said backed up the claim. Or aspects of the accusation, perhaps.
The gist was that when the president said “wiretapping” he did not mean wiretapping. He used the term to indicate a broader idea of surveillance. It was an epic piece of rowing back an outlandish statement.
Such linguistic gymnastics have been deployed during some of the most awkward exchanges, as the administration’s short-cuts or bluster have been exposed.
So when it emerged that Mr Trump’s armada had not actually set sail for North Korea, despite such claims by the White House, Mr Spicer had to choose his words carefully.
“The president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula. That’s a fact. It happened,” he said, before adding quickly: “It is happening, rather.”
In other words, it might not have been happening when it was stated. But it sure as hell was happening now.
On that occasion he was cleaning up someone else’s mess, a mistake made by the Pentagon (according to the official version of events).
On other occasions, he has been guilty of making his own mess.
The worst example perhaps was when he launched himself on a misguided attempt to illustrate the brutality of Bashar al-Assad’s gas attacks with a comparison to Adolf Hitler.
“You had someone who was despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons,” he said, provoking gasps around a room of reporters all no doubt aware of how the Nazis used poison gas to carry out the Holocaust.
A chastened press secretary rapidly did the rounds of TV studios to apologise.
But as he continues to speak for one of the most gaffe-prone presidents in history, the surprise is not so much the blunders, but that he has not made more of them.