Com­mu­ni­ca­tions chief “go­ing to fire ev­ery­body”

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Ash­ley Parker

WASH­ING­TON» Anthony Scara­mucci, the new White House com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, threat­ened on Tues­day to fire his en­tire staff to stem the leak­ing that has plagued Pres­i­dent Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion since al­most the first day he took of­fice.

“I’m go­ing to fire ev­ery­body. That’s how I’m go­ing to do it,” Scara­mucci said. “You’re ei­ther go­ing to stop leak­ing, or you’re go­ing to get fired.”

The first to leave the West Wing on Tues­day was se­nior as­sis­tant press sec­re­tary Michael Short, who re­signed af­ter a re­port emerged in Politico hours ear­lier say­ing that he would be fired in Scara­mucci’s quest to up­root leak­ers.

Scara­mucci, wear­ing blue-tinted avi­a­tor sun­glasses and speak­ing to a small group of re­porters in the White House drive­way Tues­day morn­ing, ges­tured to the guard booth on the out­skirts of the com­plex to em­pha­size his threat.

“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.”

Scara­mucci en­tered the White House over the stren­u­ous ob­jec­tions of for­mer White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer — who ul­ti­mately re­signed in protest — and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

De­spite pub­licly claim­ing he and Priebus have a long and re­spect­ful work­ing re­la­tion­ship, Scara­mucci has made one of his first moves the launch of a broad over­haul of the press of­fice, sin­gling out Priebus al­lies, many of whom worked at the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, for scru­tiny.

An un­of­fi­cial list of Priebus loy­al­ists has been cir­cu­lat­ing among Scara­mucci al­lies as those most likely to lose their jobs or be re­as­signed in the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Asked about press re­ports that he al­ready has be­gun to fire West Wing staffers, Scara­mucci men­tioned that name of a par­tic­u­lar staffer floated in a news story as a likely can­di­date for fir­ing and said this was one of his frus­tra­tions with the leaks com­ing from the West Wing.

“This is ac­tu­ally a ter­ri­ble thing,” he said. “The fact that you guys know about it be­fore he does re­ally up­sets me as a hu­man be­ing and as a Ro­man Catholic. You got that? So I should have the op­por­tu­nity, if I have to let some­one go, to let the per­son go in a very hu­mane, dig­ni­fied way.”

Kellyanne Con­way, coun­selor to the pres­i­dent, said that in a meet­ing of White House com­mu­ni­ca­tions staffers, Scara­mucci had promised all aides “a clean slate” and “amnesty” to prove that they are not leak­ing and work­ing hard to de­fend the pres­i­dent and sup­port his agenda.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, The As­so­ci­ated Press

White House com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Anthony Scara­mucci speaks to mem­bers of the me­dia at the White House on Tues­day in Wash­ing­ton.

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