Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Politics

Anthony Scaramucci removed as Trump's communications director after 10 days

WASHINGTON — Anthony Scaramucci has been removed as White House communications director at the request of White House chief of staff John Kelly, just days after being named to the job, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

Scaramucci's brief tenure in the role had been marked by turmoil as he feuded publicly with former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. Scaramucci's arrival at the White House prompted former press secretary Sean Spicer to resign in protest.

The abrupt decision signals that Kelly is moving quickly to assert control over the West Wing, which has been characterized by interpersonal disputes and power struggles during Trump's six months in office.

The retired Marine general, who was sworn in Monday morning, was brought into the White House in the hope that he will bring military-style disciple to Trump's staff. He has been fully empowered by the president to make significant changes to the organization, White House officials and outside advisers said.

Outgoing White House press secretary Spicer confirmed Scaramucci's departure in a statement on Monday afternoon.

RELATED:Divorce report capped Scaramucci's first week. There was no second week

"Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director," Spicer said. "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 was hired to the communications director role by Trump, over the objections of Priebus and other aides. Within days of arriving in the West Wing, Scaramucci publicly accused Priebus of leaking damaging information about him in the media and disparaged him in a profanity-laced interview with the New Yorker.

Priebus, who had long ago lost the confidence of the president, was replaced by Kelly days later.

People in the White House who supported Scaramucci's hiring had viewed his presence in the West Wing, in part, as a tool to hasten the departure of Priebus, according to White House officials. His usefulness had declined significantly in their eyes once that goal was accomplished and in light of his rocky first week on the job.

Over the weekend, Kelly told associates that he was dismayed by Scaramucci's interview and found it abhorrent and embarrassing for the president. Removing him from the communications post was not intended to be personal, but rather an effort to change the culture of the White House and to signal to staff that their comments always reflect on the president.

No other post in the White House has experienced as much upheaval as the communications director job. It was first given to Jason Miller, a Trump campaign aide who stepped down from the post during the transition before even being sworn in. It was then given to Republican operative Michael Dubke, who resigned in May. In the intervening weeks, Spicer had taken on those responsibilities in addition to his role as press secretary until Scaramucci was named to the position on July 21 over his objections.

The move comes as the White House is trying to make a hard pivot away from the turmoil last week and focus lawmakers and supporters on passing a tax cut package. Earlier Monday, three top White House officials — National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and legislative director Marc Short — each said they planned to press aggressively for the tax plan, which Trump sees as a centerpiece of his domestic agenda.

Comments
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Published: 06/19/18
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18