Eleven days from start to finish, the White House Communications Director rose to the heights of power and fell to the depths of embarrassment.
When White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders introduced Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House Communications Director, commentators and journalists praised the news spokesperson for the White House.
The LA Times lauded Scaramucci for his demeanor:
During appearances on three major news talk shows, Scaramucci artfully pivoted away from troublesome topics — with a burst of candor, by changing the subject, by evoking the blue-collar roots he shares with many in Trump’s base, or just with a disarming quip.
Even amid sharp exchanges, his manner remained resolutely genial.
Are the president’s tweets a problem? No. Did Trump discuss his ability to grant pardons? Yes, but none will be needed. Does the president believe Russia meddled in the 2016 campaign? Maybe not — but Scaramucci vowed to tell Trump if he thought the president was wrong about that, or anything else.
The Atlantic described the former hedge fund manager as “smooth, relaxed, and confident,” while The Boston Globe’s Washington bureau chief praised his attitude:
Anthony Scaramucci is showing here why President Trump picked him. Smooth and soft-spoken. Lighthearted and optimistic.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) July 21, 2017
He appeared comfortable defending President Trump from behind the podium, and reports suggested that he would replace Reince Preibus as chief of staff.
Eleven days later, White House security escorted Scaramucci from the White House grounds, a humiliating end to what could be among the quickest changes of political trajectory in U.S. history.
In the short time between his first and last days, “The Mooch” dominated headlines surrounding the Trump administration, even overshadowing the critical GOP health care vote.
First, Scaramucci promised to fire everyone under his command on the Sunday shows following his hiring, if White House leaking continued. The pledge endeared him to Trump’s base and the president himself, given the flood of information flowing out of the White House.
Following the critical acclaim for his debut performances, the new White House Communications Director began the week accompanying the president on his trips aboard Air Force One. By the end of the week, however, Scaramucci’s fortunes began to sour.
Thursday morning, in an interview with CNN, Scaramucci compared his relationship to Preibus to the brotherhood between “Cain and Abel,” the Biblical relationship that ended in murder. Stopping just short of accusing Preibus of leaking information in a Tweet the night before, he also implied that he suspected Preibus of being one of the dreaded leakers.
Scaramucci’s bald desire to seize power in the White House became even more apparent later Thursday with the published contents of a Wednesday night phone call between Trump’s newest rising star and The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.
In an on-the-record, vulgarity-filled tirade, Scaramucci savaged Preibus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. He also expressed a desire to “kill” people leaking out of the White House.
The interview, while embarrassing for the administration, ultimately proved to be prescient as the president dismissed Preibus from his position as chief of staff the following day. However, the president did not appoint his fellow New Yorker to take over White House operations, instead opting for former Department of Homeland Security Secretary and Marine General John Kelly, a no-nonsense, get-the-job done personality.
Reports suggested that a combination of embarrassment from Scaramucci’s comments and the new chief of staff’s objections to the loud-mouthed New Yorker’s style led to the dismissal. Nonetheless, three days after Kelly’s appointment, Scaramucci was gone, with embarrassing details about his personal life coming to light and adding insult to injury.
In another indignity, an internet prankster duped Scaramucci into believing that he was emailing with Preibus, and “The Mooch” threatened the former chief of staff with a Shakespearean end. But Scaramucci’s quick rise, followed by an even swifter fall, fits the tragic Shakespearean mold much better.
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