White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci Ousted After Just 10 Days on the Job
Anthony Scaramucci, installed as White House communications director on July 21, has resigned following the appointment of John Kelly as President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff. Scaramucci’s tenure lasted barely a week-and-a-half in the tumultuous world of a top-level presidential politics.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement saying, “Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team.”
Scaramucci’s hiring earlier this month led to a flurry of personnel changes, including the resignation of the administration’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, and chief of staff, Reince Priebus. Last week Scaramucci gave a profanity-laced interview to The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, in which he insulted, mocked and derided Priebus in particular, but also senior White House adviser Steve Bannon.
When Scaramucci first came on the job, observers noted how unusual it was. Scaramucci was a Wall Street veteran who ran a hedge fund, but he had never been in a communications position. The closest he had done was to appear on numerous cable-news shows and strongly support the president, who is known as a frequent cable-news watcher.
The role of communications director is to shape and publicize the president’s message, working with the media, speechwriters in the White House, and members of Congress and their staffs to pursue the administration’s goals and agenda. There was no evidence Scaramucci was suited for that kind of role, which is perhaps one reason Kelly ousted him. There were also reports that Trump himself had grown tired of Scaramucci’s vulgar antics.
Adding intrigue to the situation is what Scaramucci did prior to joining the White House. He sold his firm, SkyBridge Capital; divorced his wife; and missed his son’s birth — all so he could devote his time to Washington politics.
Kelly, a retired four-star general in the Marine Corps., has set out to reduce the chaos that has persisted thus far in the Trump administration. All White House staff will now report to Kelly, who reports directly to the president. That is a more traditional chain of command for upper-level White House officials, but one that had not been in place during Priebus’s time as chief of staff.
No replacement as communications director has been named.