The staff changes and upheaval continued at the White House on Monday, as White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was pushed out of his post after less than two weeks on the job, and just hours after President Donald Trump welcomed his new Chief of Staff, former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
Scaramucci, who had been brought into the White House just two Fridays ago, on July 21, had been grabbing the headlines repeatedly in that time, most notably with a profanity-laced interview with the New Yorker magazine, as the hedge fund financier evidently fell from grace in no time.
After getting his position, Scaramucci had told reporters there would be a number of people fired at the White House; many might not have assumed that would include him before the end of July.
At a televised White House briefing that was scheduled before Scaramucci’s departure occurred, incoming Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shed little light on why the change happened.
“What matters most to us is not who is employed in the White House, but who is employed in the rest of the country,” Sanders said, adding that the White House “is focused on the President’s agenda.”
In a written statement issued by the White House, the official explanation was that Scaramucci wanted to give Kelly a “clean slate” to work with – that phrase was identical to one that outgoing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had used when Scaramucci was hired earlier this month.
The move also came not long after President Trump pushed back against media reports of trouble at the White House, specifically using a morning tweet to deny that.
“No WH chaos!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Democrats in Congress immediately seized on the news, and said it simply showed there was indeed chaos at the White House, as they openly mocked the President.
“Another one bites the dust,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
“Adios Mooch hardly knew ya,” added Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO).
There was even GOP scorn for Scaramucci in Congress.
“864,000 is impressively large,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) tweeted, saying that’s the number of seconds Scaramucci spent as White House Communications Director.
“It’s almost as if a 4 star Marine GEN just took over,” as Chief of Staff, Zeldin tweeted.
“I’m surprised The Mooch is already gone,” Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) said of Scaramucci, using his nickname. “I thought he’d last at least a few more episodes on this reality show.”
It was not immediately clear if Scaramucci would stay on in another role in the Trump Administration, or if his time was over – after just a week and a half.
One thing that is different as of today is that the White House Chief of Staff will now be ‘the’ gatekeeper for President Trump, as Kelly will have all staff report to him, with no one going directly to the President, a system that reportedly caused trouble for former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.