Trump fires communications chief Scaramucci in new White House upheaval

Politics


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump fired his communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, on Monday after little over a week in the job because of an obscene tirade, sources familiar with the decision said, in the latest staff upheaval to hit the Republican’s six-month-old presidency.

Scaramucci’s departure follows one of the rockiest weeks of Trump’s presidency in which a major Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system failed in Congress and both his spokesman and previous chief of staff left their jobs.

The sources said Scaramucci had been damaged by comments he made to The New Yorker magazine last week in which he attacked then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in profanity-laden terms.

Trump removed Scaramucci on the same day he swore in a new White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general who is expected to bring more discipline to running what has become a chaotic White House.

“There’s going to be new leadership and I’m not sure the new leadership thought he was up to the task of being a team player,” one of the sources told Reuters.

The New York Times and Politico reported that Kelly had asked Trump to remove Scaramucci, an abrasive New York financier.

“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director,” the White House said in a 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 all the best.”

Scaramucci was named to the role only 10 days ago.

Tensions in Trump’s inner circle erupted last week when Scaramucci assailed Priebus and Bannon, two of the West Wing’s most senior figures. He accused Priebus of leaking information to the media. Priebus later resigned.

Trump appeared on Monday with Kelly in the Oval Office and in a Cabinet meeting where he predicted the new chief of staff would do a “spectacular job.” He praised Kelly for averting controversy during his tenure overseeing border security issues at the Department of Homeland Security.

“With a very controversial situation, there’s been very little controversy, which is really amazing by itself,” Trump said.

Republicans fear that staff chaos at the White House could derail any attempt to revive efforts to repeal and replace the Obamacare healthcare law and a plan to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

The euro currency hit a 2-1/2-year high against the U.S. dollar of $1.1835 after reports that Trump was removing Scaramucci. Japan’s yen also rose against the dollar.

Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Mark Hosenball; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Peter Cooney



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