After just 11 days on the job, communications director Anthony Scaramucci was relieved of his duties Monday.
While she did not confirm reports that Gen. John Kelly personally requested Scaramucci’s termination, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made clear that the former Homeland Security secretary now has full control of the staff.
“General Kelly has the full authority to operate in the White House, and all staff will report to him,” Sanders said, adding there are no other anticipated staff shakeups in the works.
As communications director, Scaramucci was expecting to report directly to the president, leaving things unclear about his interactions with Gen. Kelly.
“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director,” the White House said in a terse written statement. “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 the best.”
Kelly was sworn in just hours earlier Monday as the new White House chief of staff, ironically stepping into a vacancy that Scaramucci played at least some role in creating.
The abrupt decision to remove Scaramucci signals Kelly’s no-nonsense approach to a White House whose inner drama has drawn recent media comparisons to “Survivor” and “Game of Thrones.” The New York Times reported that Kelly wanted Scaramucci’s removal.
Scaramucci’s presence at the White House has been all but pleasant – causing division within Trump’s inner circle from the start.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned in protest right away, incidentally using the same “clean slate” language used to explain Scaramucci’s departure.
One week later, Reince Priebus resigned as chief of staff after Scaramucci’s profanity-filled rant to a reporter from the New Yorker. In that interview, Scaramucci also made disparaging remarks about Steve Bannon.
A White House source still expects that Spicer will leave the White House as planned, even though the President 11 days ago asked him to stay.