Sean Spicer taking on 'extra' White House duties
White House spokesman Sean Spicer in the East Room at the White House on June 5, 2017 (AFP Photo/NICHOLAS KAMM)

Sean Spicer's colleagues have denied the White House spokesman is on the outs, saying he has been given extra duties after his absence from the White House podium on Monday fueled speculation about his future.

Spicer was replaced in the White House briefing room by his deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who rejected suggestions the embattled spokesman was stepping down.

"He is taking on a little bit of extra duty at this point," Huckabee said of Spicer's role. "It's probably upgraded at this point, given that where we don't have a communications director."

Trump recently parted company with his first communications director, Mike Dubke, in what was expected to be a series of moves to shake up his press team.

Rumors have echoed around the West Wing for months about the possibility Trump would fire his public relations staff en masse.

Spicer's briefings have become must-see television in the United States, attracting attention from satirists who have teased his combative style.

Despite the assurances about Spicer's future, White House officials have also previously suggested he may do fewer on camera briefings in future.