President Trump’s headline-grabbing communications director Anthony Scaramucci was shown the door Monday after just 11 days on the job – as retired Gen. John Kelly took command of the White House staff, moving swiftly to impose order on a West Wing gripped for weeks by infighting.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not confirm reports that Kelly personally requested Scaramucci’s removal — but she 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.
Scaramucci’s stint as communications director came with the condition that he would report directly to the president, leaving unclear — until Monday — how he and Kelly would interact.
“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, nicknamed “The Mooch,” 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 sought Scaramucci’s removal.