WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/CBSNews) — Another member of President Trump’s inner circle is suddenly on the outside looking in.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, Anthony Scaramucci has been removed as White House communications director after a shockingly short, but turbulent tenure.
“I like the team,” Scaramucci said shortly after assuming the role. “Let me rephrase that, I love the team.”
It was just 10 days ago that his appointment was announced.
Trump has insisted that there is no turmoil within his administration, even tweeting Monday morning “No WH chaos.”
That was before Scaramucci was reportedly escorted of White House property – and even that in turn came hours after new Chief of Staff John Kelly was sworn in.
“I have no doubt he’ll be an absolutely superb chief of staff,” Trump said.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the White House 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.”
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, up to this point there have been at least three competing power centers at the White House; one led by former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, another by chief strategist Steve Bannon, and a third that included the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump — all reporting independently to the president.
Now, the White House says they and all staff will report to Kelly.
“One has to wonder if that is indeed going to be true for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump,” Professor Alain Sanders at St. Peter’s University said. “We need to see how this plays out. The opening signs are good for General Kelly, but this is just the first day, and as I mentioned, this is a whiplash presidency.”
The New York Times first reported Monday’s developments, which said that Kelly asked Mr. Trump to remove Scaramucci from his role. The report added that Kelly also made clear Monday morning that he’s now in charge. Kelly wanted “more structure, less Game of Thrones,” a source close to the White House told CBS News. The source added that Kelly will have far more latitude than the recently ousted Priebus & did a good job negotiating terms of his service — “either I’m a chief of staff in name, or I’m the chief of staff.”
There has been drama with Scaramucci, a New York financier, in his quick-lived position since day one. It was on Friday, July 21 that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned after Scaramucci was named communications director.
Scaramucci then immediately butted heads with then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who last Friday was replaced by Kelly. In an interview with the New Yorker, Scaramucci hinted that Priebus was responsible for White House leaks and called him a “f***ing paranoid schizophrenic.”
Then using a vulgar colloquialism, Scaramucci said that Priebus had tried to block him for months, and was now giving Fox executive Bill Shine the same treatment. The entire exchange between Lizza and Scaramucci was outlined in a story published online Thursday by the New Yorker.
“The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position, and he didn’t want to burden General Kelly also with that line of succession,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Minutes after news broke about Scaramucci on Monday, Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Medic James McCloughan, who served in Vietnam. There was no mention of the continued shakeup at the White House until a late afternoon press briefing.
“General Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House, and all staff will report to him,” Huckabee Sanders said.
The White House would not confirm the report that Kelly wanted Scaramucci removed. The retired four-star general is seen as the man who can help bring discipline and order to the Trump administration – but the president denies problems.
“The stock market’s the highest it’s ever been, unemployment lowest in 17 years. The country is optimistic, and I think the general will just add to it,” Trump said.
“I heard the president loud and clear,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said to CNN’s Jake Tapper, “he said General Kelly is in charge. If that’s the case and the president enforces that, that General Kelly is in charge, he has a much better chance of success.”
The president has also recently dropped hints about his unhappiness with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but the White House says no further changes in personnel are planned for now.
CBS News’ Major Garrett, Jacqueline Alemany and Katiana Krawchenko contributed to this report.