- By Kate BrannenKate Brannen is a Foreign Policy contributor.
Hours after being sworn in as the White House Chief of Staff, retired Gen. John Kelly fired Anthony Scaramucci, the brand new White House communications director, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision.
Only a few weeks ago, few people had heard of Scaramucci, but last week, he became a household name, largely thanks to his profanity-laden interview with the New Yorker. There was more scandal for Scaramucci over the weekend as news of his recent divorce broke in the New York Post.
On Friday, President Donald Trump, announced his decision to replace Reince Priebus, his first chief of staff, with Kelly, who’d been serving as secretary of the Department of Homeland Defense. A former Marine four-star, Kelly was expected to bring order to what’s widely viewed as a chaotic and unruly White House, where infighting runs rampant and often plays out in the press.
Kelly’s decision to get rid of Scaramucci appears to reflect his distaste for inflammatory rhetoric, or what he’s called “cesspool of domestic politics.”
In his brief tenure, Scaramucci created headlines by threatening to fire the entire White communications team, and calling New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza and accusing outgoing White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of leaking information. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci told Lizza.
“Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “We wish him all the best.”
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