On Tuesday, Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House Communications Director, took an active stand against internal leaks. He’s going to stop them, even if he has to fire everyone except Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Early Tuesday, the media reported that senior assistant press secretary Michael Short had been fired. Short had no idea. Responding to the Politico report, Short told CNN,
“No one has told me anything, and the entire premise is false.”
In a press conference, Scaramucci said Short would be the first of many people to be fired if he can’t stop the leaks, but he refused to say whether or not Short has been fired. He said that was an "an unfair thing” for him to comment on.
He pointed out how inhumane it is for someone to find out they’ve lost their job through a third party.
"This is the problem with the leaking," said Scaramucci. "This is actually a terrible thing. Let’s say I’m firing Michael Short today. The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic.”
He continued, “I should have the opportunity, if I have to let someone go, to let the person go in a very humane, dignified way."
But that doesn’t mean Scaramucci isn’t going to fire people.
"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 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."
The Chicago Tribune reports that Kellyanne Conway says that Scaramucci is offering “amnesty” and a “clean slate” to any staffers who can prove they aren’t leaking and are working to defend the president and support his agenda.
“Leaking is atrocious. It's outrageous. It's unpatriotic. It damages the president personally. It damages the institution of the presidency, and I don't like it. I just don't like it,” added Scaramucci.
Typically, it would be the job of the chief of staff, Reince Priebus, to fire staffers, but Scaramucci has taken over that role for staffers within the communications office.
“Priebus has found himself increasingly isolated in recent days, with few areas of the White House reporting directly to him,” reports the Tribune.
It will be interesting to see how the White House press team transform under this new leadership. If you’d like to know more about Scaramucci, click for information on how he got appointed, his past, and five fast facts about him.