Ten days after entering the White House, Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci is out, sources close to the White House confirmed to NBC News Monday.
He resigned, most likely under duress.
The departure is just the latest “resignation” in a major shakeup in the administration, with new Chief of Staff John Kelly being sworn in on Monday, replacing Reince Priebus who was pushed out last week.
Scaramucci shocked many last week with his crazed profanity-laced tirade in an interview with NY Mag’s Ryan Lizza. In the interview, Mooch or Scaramucci ripped into Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, and he did it viciously. He said he was going to fire everyone in the comms department.
Mooch also said the reporter knew his comments were off the record and he’d “never trust a reporter again”. He did not, however, deny his comments.
Ryan Lizza also pushed back on everything Mooch said and he sounded believable. He told CNN’s Berman that he wouldn’t publish off the record comments.
“When the Communications Director for the White House calls you and tells you, on the record, that he’s about to fire the entire communications staff, that he has called the FBI to investigate the Chief of Staff at the White House, and that the Chief Strategist is engaged in autofellatio, I think that is a fairly newsworthy set of comments,” Lizza asserted.
“My job as a reporter is not to keep things private and confidential when the Communications Director tells me things. My job is to report them, so the public understands what’s going on at the White House.”
Lizza said he has “always” had a good relationship with Scaramucci and suggested “I think he needs to learn a little bit about what it means to be Communications Director and how to interact with reporters.”
Lizza said he had a subsequent conversation with Scaramucci “where he and I both agreed the interview was on the record and was public.” In that conversation, Lizza said Scaramucci told him “he had second thoughts about what he said.”
If Mooch lied, that would have doomed him. There are also questions about how clear he was over his disengagement from Skybridge, one of his assets.
Mr. Lizza said Mooch’s interview was “the most insane interview I’ve ever had with a government official…in 20 years of covering Washington”.
At the same time, Mooch’s wife is divorcing him though she is nine months pregnant because of his “blind ambition” and the fact that she hates Trump. There could be more coming out on that front. There are a lot of rumors about how widely disliked Mooch is.
Lizza can be heard in this interview:
There are reports that General Kelly almost quit over the way in which Comey was fired and one might assume that Kelly wouldn’t want an out of control communications person.
Kelly might have asked for Mooch to be removed. Bannon might have also.
Listen to the press conference with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below. She said Mooch has no role in the White House and she wouldn’t answer questions on the process. The President did think Mooch’s comments to Lizza were inappropriate and he didn’t want “to burden General Kelly with that”, referring to the chain of command. Mooch had the okay to go around the Chief of State. The President has given “full authority” to Chief of Staff Kelly and all will go through him.
Huckabee Sanders said the resignation was by mutual agreement.