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A timeline of Scaramucci’s 10-day stint as White House communication director

Scaramucci’s stint began with such promise, with an appearance in the briefing room where he repeatedly declared his love for President Trump.

world Updated: Aug 01, 2017 08:23 IST
The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian
Anthony Scaramucci,White House communication director,President Trump
Anthony Scaramucci, flanked by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, speaks at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, US.(Reuters File Photo)

Anthony Scaramucci’s tenure as White House communications director was as short as a four-letter word and just as shocking.

His stint began with such promise, with an appearance in the briefing room where he repeatedly declared his love for the President and parted with an air-kiss to the White House press corps. But it was over almost before it had begun.

July 21: Scaramucci, loyal and telegenic but lacking a traditional communications background, was named White House communication director, a move that immediately prompted the resignation of press secretary Sean Spicer.

In his first appearance before reporters, Scaramucci put on a show. But he was only ever performing for an audience of one, a President with a predilection for plot twists.

At the press briefing, his appearance before reporters outlined a familiar strategy: Let Trump be Trump.

“I think it’s super important for us to let him express his personality,” Scaramucci said.

In a statement, Trump praised Scaramucci: “Anthony is a person I have great respect for, and he will be an important addition to this administration. He has been a great supporter and will now help implement key aspects of our agenda while leading the communications team.”

July 22: The Mooch spent Saturday cleaning up his Twitter feed to remove historic tweets critical of the President and his agenda. Before pledging to Make America Great Again, Scaramucci had a different view of Trump.

“He’s gonna be President of, you can tell Donald I said this: the Queens County Bullies Association,” Scaramucci said during a segment on Fox Business in August 2015. “You are an inherited-money dude from Queens County. Bring it.”

July 23: The Mooch shows off his charm on the Sunday shows. He promised a witch-hunt to root out “leakers” and said anyone found to be sharing unauthorised information with the press would be fired.

“We are strong as our weakest link,” Scaramucci said on CBS Face the Nation. “And I’ll say it a little differently in a pun. We’re strong as our weakest leak.”

On State of the Union, Scaramucci cited an anonymous source on Russian hacking of the election, and then revealed that the source was the President.

“Somebody said to me yesterday – I won’t tell you who – that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those emails, you would have never seen it,” he said. “You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they’re super confident in their deception skills and hacking.” Pressed on the provenance of the claim, he replied: “How about it was the President?”

July 24: Scaramucci’s estranged wife, Deidre Ball, gives birth to their second child in New York. Scaramucci travelled on Air Force One with the president to West Virginia, where Trump delivered a politically charged speech before thousands of Boy Scouts. (A Boy Scouts official later apologised for allowing “political rhetoric”at their annual jamboree.)

July 25: Thumbs up and smiles aboard Air Force One on the way to Youngstown, Ohio, where the Mooch tells reporters on board: “If the leaks continue, then I’ve got to let everybody go.”

July 26: Scaramucci dined at the White House with the president, the first lady, Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine. After dinner, he placed a fateful call to New Yorker writer, Ryan Lizza.

He then tweeted: “In light of the leak of my financial info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45.”

July 27: The New Yorker published that conversation. Highlights include:

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said of the White House chief strategist.

“Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” he said of the White House chief of staff, who Scaramucci insinuated was behind some of the most damaging leaks.

“What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers and I want to get the President’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people.”

Scaramucci also referred to himself in the third person, by his nickname. “OK, the Mooch showed up a week ago,” he told the magazine. “This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, OK?”

As a world which thought it was, by now, immune to surprises from Trump’s White House digested his unique communication style, the director of communications conceded he did not know the call was on the record.

July 28: Another ride on Air Force One. The destination: his native Long Island.

New York Post’s Page Six reported that Scaramucci’s infatuation with Trump was a catalyst for his wife’s decision to file for divorce while nine months pregnant with their second child after three years of marriage.

July 29 

July 30: Sunday spent mostly below the radar, though he tweeted about a call with Republican chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “Looking forward to building even stronger relationship,” he wrote.

July 31: Scaramucci watched as John Kelly was sworn in as the president’s new chief of staff.

Hours later, the White House announced that Scaramucci was out as White House communications director, reportedly at the urging of Kelly.

“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House communications director,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Mr Scaramucci felt it was best to give chief of staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best.”

During the daily briefing, Sanders said Scaramucci does not have an administration role “at this time”.

(Published in arrangement with Guardian.com)

First Published: Aug 01, 2017 08:21 IST