Trump message chief willing to ‘fire everybody’ for leaking
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s new communications director says he’s prepared to clean house in order to stop the leaks plaguing the administration.
Anthony Scaramucci, the Wall Street financier tapped for the role last week, said Tuesday that he was prepared to “fire everybody” to stop unauthorized information coming from the press office.
Speaking to reporters, Scaramucci said that he was “not doing an investigation. I’m just going to get the leaking to stop.” He stressed that he had “the authority from the president to do that.”
“You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to get fired,” Scaramucci said.
The Trump administration has been troubled by numerous damaging leaks amid the investigation into Russian efforts to influence the vote. The president has criticized the leaks and urged authorities to prosecute the alleged leakers.
White House press aide Michael Short abruptly resigned Tuesday, not long after a report in Politico that Scaramucci was planning to fire him. Scaramucci confirmed Short had left, saying he did not know him, but “the person who wanted me to fire him outranks me.”
Scaramucci said he did not know if Short had leaked information and said he wished him well. He also said the rest of the communications staff had “amnesty” as long as they “stop leaking.”
Incoming White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Tuesday that she had accepted Short’s resignation. Short could not be immediately reached for comment.
Trump appointed Scaramucci to the job Friday. The hedge fund manager is a polished television commentator, but has limited experience running a communications operation. He is taking over the role crafting the president’s message at a time when Trump faces dropping approval ratings and is struggling to advance his legislative agenda.
Sanders was tapped to take over the role of press secretary after Sean Spicer resigned the job in protest over the hiring of Scaramucci.
Over the weekend, Scaramucci pledged on Fox News to begin “an era of a new good feeling” and said he hopes to “create a more positive mojo.”