“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “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.”
Scaramucci had not even started in his new role, but was under fire after the New Yorker published an expletive-filled conversation he had with one of its writers, Ryan Lizza.
Scaramucci was not scheduled to officially begin his job until Aug. 15.
According to the New York Times, Scaramucci’s removal came at the request of Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, who started in his new job on Monday.
There had been speculation about Scaramucci’s future ever since Trump replaced chief of staff Reince Priebus with Kelly. Scaramucci had made a point of telling Lizza that he reported directly to Trump, not Priebus, but it was unclear whether that chain of authority would still be in place once Kelly took over.
“I have no doubt that he will be an absolutely superb chief of staff,” Trump said of Kelly at a cabinet meeting on Monday.
Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital who has been a commentator on Fox Business, was a loyal Trump confidant during the 2016 campaign, but his selection as communications director just 10 days ago triggered a chain reaction of shakeups at the White House. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, resigned in protest, and Preibus departed last week.
But Scaramucci, who had expected to be a fierce, loyal and even brash defender of Trump’s, ran into trouble last week, after he called Lizza to try to find out about his source of a leak. During the call, Scaramucci trashed Priebus, threatened to fire the entire White House communications staff and made a vulgar comment about Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist. Scaramucci also said that he was going to contact the FBI and the Justice Department of what he said was a leak of his financial disclosure form, even though it is a public record.
Since then, Scaramucci has kept a low profile, and canceled a planned appearance at last week’s Politicon in Pasadena.
It is unclear whether Scaramucci would be taking another job in the administration.