President Trump’s new communications chief tosses out the first leaker after being on the job for only a couple of days. Anthony Scaramucci fired Michael Short for leaking to the press. Short denies the charges. Scaramucci says that he is willing to run the press office at the White House with just himself and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. One thing you can say about him, he isn’t about to sit around and allow leakers to do their thing without consequences.
Wearing shiny blue fashion sunglasses in the morning hours on the White House’s north driveway, Scaramucci pointed to the guard shack that separates 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from tourists.
‘If they don’t stop leaking, I’m going to put them out on Pennsylvania Avenue – it’s a very clear thing,’ he said.
‘You want to sell postcards to the tourists outside the gate? Or [do] you want to work in the West Wing? What do you want to do? If you want to work in the West Wing, you’ve got to stop leaking.’
Scaramucci told Politico, an inside-the beltway newspaper, that more heads could soon roll, even if it means there’s no one left standing other than Spicer’s replacement – Sarah Huckabee Sanders – and himself.
‘I’m committed to taking the comms shop down to Sarah and me, if I can’t get the leaks to stop,’ he said.
Still, Scaramucci told the smallish gaggle of journalists outside the White House that he was upset to see Short’s name discussed publicly before he had a chance to let him know his job was at risk.
Scaramucci told reporters on Friday that lead communications strategist Hope Hicks and social media guru Dan Scavino will keep their jobs.
Others, however, could learn their fate soon.
It’s unclear whether Short’s head is on the chopping block as part of a leak crackdown or as a first step toward shedding a layer of Republican National Committee loyalists who came into the administration with Spicer and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Short has been a polarizing figure in the White House press shop, helping reporters at some favored news outlets while stonewalling others.