Sean Spicer Shares Conversation He Had With President Donald Trump Following 'DWTS' Elimination (Exclusive)

The former White House press secretary also tells ET he almost said 'no' to the dance competition show.

Sean Spicer received plenty of phone calls and messages from family and friends last night following his elimination from Dancing With the Stars.

The former White House press secretary stopped by ET Live on Tuesday, where he revealed that one of those people was President Donald Trump, whom he praised for supporting him throughout the competition and even urging his social media followers to vote.

"He's the leader of the free world, he's got, like, 60 million people on social media following him, so if you just get a fraction of them to [vote] absolutely [it helped]," said Spicer, who was joined by his fill-in partner, Jenna Johnson. "Look at what my scores were. The only reason I was never in the bottom two in nine weeks was because of the votes, but I think there's a variety of people. I bumped into people at church, I talked to a guy on an airplane, all of them had different reasons [for voting]. Some of them thought the journey was something they could identify with, some of them shared my political beliefs, some of them just liked the idea of a guy that couldn't do this but was willing to take a chance."

"[Trump] did not give me any dance advice but he did give me a ton of his support," Spicer added. "I talked to him last night and he was very proud of how far we came. Yeah, he stuck to advice and support."

Although saying goodbye to the competition is never fun for anyone, Spicer told ET that he was feeling "good" about everything, including getting eliminated over the other bottom two couple, Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko.

"I'm actually pretty relaxed," he said. "It's mixed. A little disappointed, I had a great time, a great run. But this is the point in the competition where we let the really good people go on."

"More than anything, what I wanted to show people is that you can take this diverse group of people together, enjoy each other's company and support each other. There's no rooting against somebody," he continued. "I would have loved to go on, but they made the right decision [keeping Lauren and Gleb]. As much as it hurts to not go on, because I really would have loved to be in the semifinals, I got to admit that I've seen how hard they work and how good they are. I'm glad the judges made the right decision."

ABC/Eric McCandless

Spicer's original partner, Lindsay Arnold, unfortunately, had to miss out on Monday night's show for the second week in a row due to the unexpected death of her mother-in-law, Jennifer Cusick. Johnson, who was paired with Queer Eye star Karamo Brown earlier this season before getting eliminated, happily stepped in to dance with Spicer last minute. The two told ET they called Arnold from the stage as soon as the show wrapped.

"Lindsay's my best friend and I would have stepped in for her no matter what," Johnson shared. "I'm really grateful I got to share two weeks with Sean. We had a great time, just from the outside and then being able to get into the rehearsal studio with him, he loved the show. It was awesome for me to watch someone like him, who really grasps it and embraces the whole concept of Dancing With the Stars. I just felt so proud."

"She's good. She's doing really well, but I think this is a perfect time for her to be at home with family," Johnson added of Arnold. "I called her immediately and then we spoke this morning. She is so proud of Sean. I know that she was a little heartbroken that she couldn't be there with him. But so proud, and I think Lindsay definitely got him all the way up to this point [week nine], for sure. I just stepped in there but she's an incredible choreographer, teacher, creator and dancer."

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Spicer chimed in, revealing just how "last-minute" the partner change was last week.

"On that Saturday before a show, you go to dress rehearsal, you rehearse all day Sunday. That's when you go and do all the camera blocking. So, Jenna stepped in Saturday afternoon ahead of a [Monday] show," he explained. "This wasn't, like, Tuesday or Wednesday when we had plenty of time. So getting me to that point by show day was unreal. There was not a moment where I had any degree of nerves -- well, additional ones -- because of knowing I was in such great hands."

Later in the interview, Spicer also opened up about his transformation on the show, and why he decided to say "yes" to the competition. 

"My first thought was 'no.' I was approached when I first left the White House and I turned it down. It was a timing issue, it wasn't really fitting with a lot of the opportunities I had gotten right off the bat. And frankly, the show was going to start real quick and I couldn't [do that]," he revealed. "And then I continued the conversation with one of the executives on the show and we started it in earnest again at the beginning of the year. I thought to myself, 'When are you going to get an opportunity to do something like this again?' It's completely out of my wheelhouse and I had really gotten sold on this concept of the show being a family. Something that I might enjoy, get to be around a bunch of people that I get to know and grow with. I'll be honest with you, it exceeded every one of my expectations."

"The hardest part about going home is knowing that you're not going to see the people every day," he added. "You're spending four to five hours with Jenna, with Lindsay, and you grow with them. The upside is that the finale is in, like, [two weeks] so I'll go home, celebrate my anniversary with my wife and then fly back out."

ABC/Eric McCandless

Spicer jokingly admitted, however, that he's a little bummed out by the fact that fans won't get to see what he had prepared for the semifinals.

"I will tell you that next week the fans are missing out on a good costume that was coming their way," he said. "It was on par with week one, how about that. So, we saved the viewers from having to see that."

"But maybe the finale we'll do a trio," Jenna added. "Like me, you and Lindsay."

Spicer is leaving the competition with not only a brand new set of dance skills, but a handful of new friendships between the cast and crew that have become "family."

"Karamo, Ally [Brooke]. You have conversations with everybody. James Van Der Beek gave me acting lessons!" he shared. "Lauren and I had a ton of conversations. There's not a person you don't [talk to]. And it's not just the other cast members; it's the pros, it's the crew who you're sitting around with and having these conversations about life and their families and what's going on. It's the people who mic you up, who do your makeup, the assistants. Everyone on that show is bought in on wanting to be there and enjoying the experience and making it great for everybody."

Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

Despite receiving early backlash from viewers -- some who even created a #BoycottDWTS hashtag in an attempt to get Spicer booted from the show -- the former press secretary completed the show with grace. When asked if he feels that being on DWTS may have won people over that have previously misunderstood who he really is deep down, he gave an honest reply.

"In my previous job, I stood at a podium and yelled at people a lot and I looked like an angry leprechaun," he joked, referencing his statements to the press in 2017 following Trump's inauguration. "To an extent, that was a very one-dimensional look at who I am. I'm the same person I was when I started the show but to the extent that people may have gotten to see more of who I am as a person and what I believe in, and the things that I care about, then that's great."

"I think part of what we're missing in society is that view -- we pin somebody, not just me, but a lot of people, with a particular view because we've seen them in one way and we say, 'OK, they're a bad person, they're a good person.' I think we all have a lot to offer," he continued. "Part of this is, we're making a lot of snap judgments in a lot of cases based on what somebody says or what somebody believes or supports." 

As for that hashtag and all the negative comments, Spicer says "there was never a time when I wasn't going to do the show."

"I knew there was going to be some backlash when I did it and we prepared for it," he admitted. "I'm not sure that I prepared for as much and as soon. But I tried to not look at a ton of it, and a lot of it just made me stronger in the sense of going, 'All right, let's go out there and work harder, make it a better experience and show people that we're having a good time, working hard and making progress.' And it all worked."

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 


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