Scaramucci out of White House job as John Kelly takes charge

2017-07-31 21:38
Anthony Scaramucci blows a kiss after a press briefing. (File, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Anthony Scaramucci blows a kiss after a press briefing. (File, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

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Washington — Anthony Scaramucci is out as White House communications director after just 11 days on the job — and just hours after President Donald Trump's new chief of staff, John Kelly, was sworn into office.

Hoping to turn the page on a tumultuous opening chapter to his presidency, Trump had insisted earlier on Monday that there was "no chaos" in his White House as he swore in the retired Marine general as second chief of staff.

Not long after, Scaramucci, who shocked many with his profane outburst last week against then-chief of staff Reince Priebus, was gone.

In the words of the White House announcement, he was leaving because he "felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team". The two-sentence release concluded, "We wish him all the best".

Earlier, in an Oval Office ceremony, Trump predicted Kelly, who previously served as Homeland Security chief, would do a "spectacular job". And the president chose to highlight the rising stock market and positive jobs outlook rather than talk about how things might need to change in his White House under Kelly.

Trump on Friday ousted Priebus as chief of staff and turned to Kelly, who he hopes will bring military discipline to an administration weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, infighting among West Wing aides and a stack of investigations.

The re-shuffling continued on Monday with word that Scaramucci, on the job from less than two weeks, will no longer serve in the White House's top communications post.

While Trump is looking for a reset, he pushed back against criticism of his administration with this tweet: "Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!"

In fact, economic growth averaged 2 percent in the first half of this year, a pace Trump railed against as a candidate and promised to lift to 3 percent. The stock market first hit a record under

Let Trump be Trump

President Barack Obama and has kept growing. The unemployment rate, too, started to decline on Obama's watch. And wage gains have been weak.

Trump on Monday convened his first Cabinet meeting with Kelly at his side, telling his team it is "doing incredibly well" and "starting from a really good base". On how he would deal with rising tensions with North Korea, Trump said only: "It will be handled."

Seated across from Trump was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has stayed on the job while Trump has publicly savaged him in interviews and on social media.

Kelly's success in a chaotic White House will depend on how much authority he is granted and whether Trump's dueling aides will put aside their rivalries to work together. Also unclear is whether a new chief of staff will have any influence over the president's social media histrionics.

Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, who was ousted from the campaign in June 2016, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he expected Kelly would "restore order to the staff" but also stressed that Trump was unlikely to change his style.

"I say you have to let Trump be Trump. That is what has made him successful over the last 30 years. That is what the American people voted for," Lewandowski said. "And anybody who thinks they're going to change Donald Trump doesn't know Donald Trump."

Kelly's start follows a wild week, marked by a profane tirade by Scaramucci, the president's continued criticism of his attorney general and the failed effort by Senate Republicans to overhaul the nation's health care law.

In addition to the strains in the West Wing and with Congress, Kelly starts his new job as tensions escalate with North Korea. The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea, following the country's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. The US also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  anthony scaramucci  |  us

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