Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci was let go from his position as the communications director of the White House at the behest of the new chief of staff, John Kelly, according to the New York Times.
Scaramucci was only communications director since July 21, during which time he missed the birth of his son to attend Donald Trump’s speech at the Boy Scouts’ Jamboree and had an expletive-filled tirade during a phone call with a reporter from the New Yorker, where he called Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, a “f*cking paranoid schizophrenic” and threatened to fire everyone in the White House until the leaks stopped. In comparison, I have done very little since July 21.
Scaramucci’s attack against Priebus caused the latter’s forced resignation where, by several accounts, Priebus was left abandoned on a tarmac. Scaramucci’s hiring also led to the resignation of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who had assumed much of the communications director’s role while the post lay vacant.
Scaramucci, otherwise known by his nickname “The Mooch,” has been described as a “colorful” character who gave us, despite his short tenure, such gems as this small piece of his New Yorker chat.
“Scaramucci told me,” wrote Ryan Lizza, “that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to s*ck my own c*ck,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f*cking strength of the President.””
The move to fire Scaramucci came from the new chief of staff, John Kelly, a retired Unites States Marine Corps general, who previously served as the Secretary of Homeland Security. Ironically, it was Scaramucci’s tirade against the previous chief of staff that led to his own firing at the hands of the new one. A very Game of Thrones full circle moment.
The reasoning for the firing was relatively simple. Kelly did not approve of the antics that Scaramucci brought to the White House. In the same Times article, Kelly “told aides gathered in early-morning staff meetings that he intended to impose a new sense of order and operational discipline that had been absent under his predecessor.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Press Secretary in the wake of Spicer’s resignation, said that Scaramucci left to provide Kelly with a “clean slate.”
But there is another potential layer to Scaramucci’s firing. In his short tenure (10 days) Scaramucci dominated the news cycle in a way that was categorically different than other members of the Trump White House. This was no Sean Spicer gaffe. Scaramucci rapidly eclipsed everyone else in the administration for his volatile, hyper-masculine behavior and his rampant threats.
According to Brian Stelter of CNN’s Reliable Sources, “Mooch became bigger than Trump…he was in the tabloids all weekend, he was the center of attention.”
In the same way that Trump allegedly downsized Steve Bannon’s public role after “President Bannon” memes rolled around, Trump could’ve done a similar thing with Scaramucci. He doesn’t like being upstaged, from the large perceived slights to the small. And even though Scaramucci had confessed total loyalty to Trump, his bombastic nature was stealing the media’s attention.
Scaramucci’s time at the White House was one of the quickest, and it’s indicative of something larger. The Trump administration is cycling through every option they have, trying to find the one that will work best for that White House. That’s not unusual or even surprising—every group wants their parts to be running as smooth as possible—but with the cycling gaining speed, it’s becoming more and more difficult to figure out what, if any, end game is in sight.