Scaramucci tirades ignite smoldering White House tensions

Anthony Scaramucci
Rift between Trump staff aired in tweet
Author

31 July, 2017

It's no secret that new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci doesn't like Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump's chief of staff.

But it was also plain that the latest leak about infighting came from Mr Scaramucci himself as he called the New Yorker to dump on Mr Priebus - only to have the magazine publish most of his quite extraordinary attack on his colleague (capping it off, the Wall Street Journal published a front-page photo of the comms director and chief-of-staff giving each other the death stare in the White House foyer).

Mr Trump tweeted: "I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff".

"The president wanted to go in a different direction", he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, adding that he thought Gen Kelly was "a brilliant pick".

Priebus' fate seem sealed this week after Anthony Scaramucci was brought on as communications director, leading to the immediate resignation of Sean Spicer as press secretary, a Priebus ally.

"Trump in his business career was used to a lot of people having privileges and being able to talk to a lot of people, and he wants to run his White House that way", said Cohen who is co-authoring a book at White House chiefs of staff.

Priebus was tapped by Trump because he was seen as a "whisperer" to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Washington Post reporter and Washington Week moderator Bob Costa told PBS Newshour's Judy Woodruff on Friday - something the president likely hoped would help him deliver on campaign promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

It's unclear who will take his spot in the Department of Homeland Security. Priebus is being replaced by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

He retired from the military last year, wrapping up a three-year post as head of U.S. Southern Command, which spanned some of the more fractious debate over the Obama administration's ultimately failed attempt to close the detainee facility at Guantanamo.

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"I plan on continuing to serve and report directly to President @realDonaldTrump at the @WhiteHouse, as I've done since 1/20/2017", Scavino tweeted over the weekend.

DIONNE: No, I think there are some real issues about him as secretary of Homeland Security. Priebus was on the plane with him and left with no comment.

"Secretary Kelly is one of the strongest and most natural leaders I've ever known", Graham said.

Finally though Priebus got the boot as even Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump also lost confidence in his ability, which may have persuaded the President to go for a major rehaul. He and Priebus didn't feel like he had the temperament to really work in the White House in that - in a key role. "I think that was part of the reason why it was a failure", said Republican Representative Charlie Dent. "He has been a true star of my administration".

Kelly will go from leading the fight against Islamic extremists and illegal immigration to running a White House which has been plagued by political intrigue and under a cloud because of allegations of election collusion with Russian Federation.

DIONNE: Well, I think in an odd way, Priebus was always a kind of artificial appendage.

Kelly has been a staunch supporter of Trump, during his election campaign days.

In his previous role as RNC chairman, he acted as a bridge between the Republican nominee and a party establishment that was often uncomfortable with its own presidential standard-bearer.

BROOKS: Well, they've fired - how many people have they fired? - five major people in the White House or so over the last few weeks, an wonderful thing for the first six months in administration. He is expected to start his new job Monday. "And I'm not real fond of people who try to show off the strength of their egos by using the profanity and vulgar language that Mr. Scaramucci used to describe Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus".


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