WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump fired his communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, on Monday over an obscene tirade, just over a week after naming him to the job, sources familiar with the decision said, in the latest staff upheaval to hit the Republican’s six-month-old administration.
Scaramucci’s departure follows one of the rockiest weeks of Trump’s presidency in which a major Republican effort to overhaul the US healthcare system failed in Congress and both his spokesman and previous chief of staff left their jobs as White House infighting burst into the open.
Scaramucci was 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.
“The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position,” spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
An administration official said new White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general tasked with bringing order to a fractious West Wing, had asked for Scaramucci’s removal.
In a change from previous procedure at the Trump White House, all staff will now report to Kelly, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Sanders said.
Scaramucci, an abrasive New York financier, was named to the communications role only 10 days ago. He founded the SkyBridge Capital hedge fund investment business in 2005.
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 US tax system.
The US dollar hit a more than 2-1/2-year low against the euro on Monday on month-end portfolio adjustments and uncertainty over the US political outlook after Scaramucci’s departure.
Aside from domestic challenges, Trump is weighing how to respond to North Korea’s latest missile test – a sore point between Washington and Beijing. Trump has been critical of China, North Korea’s closest ally, saying it should do more to rein in Pyongyang.
He is also dealing with several investigations into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and has been frustrated that the probes are also looking into potential collusion by his campaign. Moscow rejects the charge it tried to swing the election in Trump’s favor, and Trump denies his campaign had anything to do with such interference.