The Scaramucci revolution was televised.
After months of chatter that his job was on the chopping block, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer finally exited stage right on Friday after financier, donor and TV talking head Anthony Scaramucci was given the job of White House communications director, which had been vacant since the departure of Mike Dubke in May. Spicer resigned in opposition to the move.
The incident brought simmering conflicts inside the White House to a boil and pitted top advisers against each other in a last-minute effort on the part of some of them to stymie the appointment of Scaramucci, known as “The Mooch,” who had refashioned himself as an ardent Trump supporter during the campaign and had been left in limbo during the early days of the administration after not getting a promised job.
According to three sources close to the White House and a White House official, discussions about appointing Scaramucci as communications director began weeks ago. The idea, sources say, was initially Trump’s; Scaramucci has been a close ally, and Trump appreciated Scaramucci’s defense of him on television. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were involved in the decision and supported Scaramucci coming in, sources say, while White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon were firmly against, with Priebus calling Scaramucci on Thursday night and texting people close to him in a last-ditch effort to reach him and stop the hire. Bannon, a source close to the White House said, wanted an experienced communications professional in the job as the White House struggles to form a coherent message strategy to deal with the Russia investigation and the litany of other crises in which the administration is mired.