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31 Jul, 2017 19:08

No more Mooch: WH communications director Scaramucci leaves after 10 days

Anthony Scaramucci is leaving after only 10 days as White House communications director. The decision came at the recommendation of the newly sworn-in chief of staff John Kelly, the White House confirmed.

“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director. Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Scaramucci was named as communications director on July 21, leading to the resignation of press secretary Sean Spicer. He was to answer directly to Trump, sidestepping chief of staff Reince Priebus, who was ousted on Friday, and officially replaced with Kelly on Monday.

The language used in the White House statement about Scaramucci, namely the “clean slate” phrase, was the same as used in the statement about Spicer’s resignation.

Shortly after entering the White House, Scaramucci promised to take “drastic action” to prevent leaks from the Trump administration, warning staff that “they’re going to get fired” if the leaks do not stop. He also all but accused Priebus of the leaks.

On Thursday, Scaramucci appeared on CNN to complain about leakers and rebuff allegations that he accused Priebus of releasing sensitive information to the media. He also complained that his financial disclosure form was leaked to the press. However, financial disclosure forms are available to the public upon request, so no leak occurred, nor did any felony.

Kelly, who left his position as secretary of homeland security to be sworn in as chief of staff on Monday, requested Scaramucci’s removal, the New York Times and Politico reported, citing anonymous sources in the administration.

During a staff meeting at the White House, Kelly made it clear to members that he is in charge and that they would all answer directly to him, not the president, according to the New York Times.

"Kelly is already changing the culture here," one White House aide told Politico.

There was “no way” Scaramucci could work with Kelly, a senior aide said.

It is unclear if Scaramucci will be offered another position in the administration. He was a member of the presidential transition team, and was initially named as an assistant to Trump and director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs in mid-January.