Washington D.C.

Rumors have been floating around for weeks that Donald Trump is about to fire the angry sweat machine known as Sean “Spicy” Spicer. Almost every time the Press Secretary takes to the microphone, someone in the White House leaks a new story about the “President’s”* dissatisfaction with him. It’s gotten to the point where conventional wisdom around D.C. is that Spicer’s head isn’t just on the block, but that the axe is already halfway through his neck.

(*We put “President” in quotes because we don’t believe he’s legitimate.)

This pattern has been going strong since day one when a disheveled looking Spicer berated the press for not being willing to falsely report that Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest of all time. Shortly after this widely panned performance it was leaked that Trump was angry about the ill-fitting suit worn by Spicer – both because it was ill-fitting and (horror of horrors!) it was pinstriped.

The narrative has stayed the same since then. Trump is “extremely unhappy” or “disappointed” with Spicer’s performances. He doesn’t like his look, his demeanor, or even his height. Perhaps the strangest rumor is that Trump was angry with Spicer because a woman, Melissa McCarthy, had played him on “Saturday Night Live.” He thought it made the Secretary look “weak”, or so we were told.

Much of this has seemed believable because it’s playing on Trump’s obsession with image. In the past the “President” has even been known to judge men based on minutiae like the width of their neckties. It’s also widely known that the projection of strength has an outsize importance to him, and while Spicer is fairly competent at his job, giving off an alpha male vibe isn’t exactly his strong suit.

Lending the rumors even more credence is the fact that Trump watches and grades Spicer’s press briefings every day. One can only imagine him micromanaging the Secretary within an inch of his life and finding fault where there may be none. For what it’s worth, the pinstriped suit hasn’t made another appearance. So maybe Trump really did banish it to the garbage heap.

But now there is a new twist to all of this. One that casts doubt on whether Trump really is looking to fire the Secretary at all. CNN is reporting that the person behind all the negative reports on Spicer’s job prospects is none other than middle school mean girl and human skin demon Kellyanne Conway.

As many as five sources within the White House have told the network they believe her to be the source of the leaks. Like a husband blaming his farts on the family dog, she’s been feverishly trying to tell everyone who will listen that Spicer is responsible for the chaotic mess of the administration’s first few weeks.

One GOP strategist told the network, “She’s clearly guiding a press narrative that he’s not up for the job, and that they’re reviewing other candidates. It’s becoming abundantly clear that Kellyanne is making Sean’s job impossible.”

There have been signs of tension between the two already. Last week when Spicer was asked if the White House would take action against Conway after she violated ethics rules by promoting Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, he simply answered “She’s been counseled.”

After the “President” gave Conway a vote of confidence the next day, she threw shade at Spicer with this tweet:

A source with close ties to Spicer told CNN “that was the first open shot.” Brrr. Sounds frosty in there! Who will ultimately win this battle? No one knows. But many who are familiar with the Press Secretary are reluctant to bet against him. Regardless of the outcome, a White House civil war is good news for those who are hoping against Trump’s success.

Follow the author Sean Kent on Twitter – @seankent – and Facebook