Anthony Scaramucci’s tenure as White House communications director was short enough that those taking week-long summer vacations risked missing the whole thing.
At 11 days — July 21 to July 31 — it was the shortest tenure of any communications director in history, about matching a guy who was fired in 1987 after it was discovered that he’d briefly been a member of the Hitler Youth as a child.
Scaramucci’s tenure was short enough and sufficiently packed with activity that we decided to review his time in the West Wing in what seemed like a fitting format: ranked by day, from worst to best.
Scaramucci’s 11 days, ranked from worst to best
11. Thursday, July 27. Seventh day at White House.
July 27 was the day for which Scaramucci will be remembered. This wasn’t the day that he was fired; instead, it was the day that led inexorably to Monday’s decision. It was on July 27 that the New Yorker published the most vulgar interview with a White House staffer in modern American politics.
Scaramucci called then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus a “fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” referred to presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s self-interestedness as resembling autofellatio and said he was going to fire everyone on the communications staff. The call was predicated on Scaramucci trying to get the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza to reveal the source of a story about a dinner at the White House on July 26. Scaramucci signed off by declaring that he had to go tweet some stuff (not the word he used) that would drive Priebus crazy.
The call was on July 26, but the release of the New Yorker story on the 27th was a key trigger for Scaramucci’s firing.
sources also say POTUS & fam did not appreciate how A.S. comments linked them to vulgarity. Like to play rough but not be laughed at/embrsd
— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 31, 2017
(Other reports suggested that President Trump loved the interview.)
Even before the interview was published, though, Scaramucci’s day was not entirely successful. He spent about half an hour that morning on the phone with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, riffing on his feud with Priebus and, generally, creating a lot of news that one would think a White House communications director might prefer to avoid. Among other things, he compared his relationship with Priebus to the fraternal relationship of Cain and Abel. (Only one of them survived that relationship.)
Adding insult to injury, the Weekly Standard dropped a little news of its own the same day: Scaramucci wore women’s sunglasses.
10. Monday, July 31. Eleventh day at White House.
Scaramucci is fired by Priebus’s replacement, John Kelly. (We’ll get to Priebus’s firing in a second.) He wasn’t given a grace period for his departure, either. Multiple reports suggest that he was, in essence, escorted off White House grounds.
Not a good day. Oh, also, we learned that the Harvard Law alumni directory accidentally listed him as dead.
9. Wednesday, July 26. Sixth day at White House.
This was the day that it all started to go south. Lizza reported that Scaramucci was dining at the White House with Fox News’s Sean Hannity and the president.
Scoop: Trump is dining tonight w/Sean Hannnity, Bill Shine (former Fox News executive), & Anthony Scaramucci, per to 2 knowledgeable sources
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) July 26, 2017
Scaramucci appears to have assumed that Priebus was the leaker, so he called Lizza to find out. Once off the phone with Lizza, he issued that tweet meant to drive Priebus crazy.
That tweet wasn’t about a leak to Lizza, but about a Politico report on Scaramucci’s financial disclosure forms — which were public information that Politico obtained by contacting the Export-Import Bank, where Scaramucci had a position.
8. Saturday, July 29. Ninth day at White House.
The New York Post reports that Scaramucci’s wife of three years, Deidre Scaramucci, had filed for divorce earlier in the month. The Post spoke with unnamed sources close to Deidre who suggested that Scaramucci wasn’t unfaithful but that “the only one he’s dating right now is the West Wing of the White House.”
Family does not need to be drawn into this. Soon we will learn who in the media has class and who doesn't. No further comments on this.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 29, 2017
7. Monday, July 24. Fourth day at White House.
Deidre Scaramucci last week gave birth to the couple’s son while Scaramucci was in West Virginia with Trump. He reportedly sent his wife a text reading, “Congratulations, I’ll pray for our child.”
6. Tuesday, July 25. Fifth day at White House.
Scaramucci tells Politico that he plans to fire Michael Short, a communications staffer who’d come to the White House from the Republican National Committee with Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer. Scaramucci doesn’t tell Short this, though, so Short resigns.
5. Friday, July 28. Eighth day at White House.
Priebus’s resignation from the White House is announced.
The announcement came at the end of a day in which Trump’s team had traveled to Long Island for a speech about law enforcement — at which, again, Trump made comments that required the host organization to offer a clarification. (Again: This is the sort of thing that one might expect to fall under a communications director’s purview.)
The flight to Long Island spurred a lot of interest, as it was the first time that Priebus and Scaramucci were in public together after the infamous New Yorker interview was published. Scaramucci won the battle — but ultimately lost the war, given that Kelly was announced as Priebus’s replacement in a tweet from the president.
In the evening, HuffPost reports that Priebus opposed Scaramucci’s role at the White House in part because he believed that the sale of Scaramucci’s business to Chinese investors had been sweetened with an eye toward having a good relationship with the administration.
4. Saturday, July 22. Second day at White House.
Scaramucci deletes old tweets in which his political positions differed from the president he’d just agreed to serve. For example:
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) July 21, 2017
He also deleted one that read: “Barack Obama: As your friend, let me say that the E.U. makes Britain even greater. Re: #Brexit I stand with @POTUS.”
3. Sunday, July 23. Third day at White House.
Scaramucci makes the rounds on the Sunday political talk shows, where he pledges to uproot administration leakers, even if it required firing everyone except himself and the press secretary. It was probably the last day that Scaramucci was making news that didn’t derive from his own behavior.
2. Friday, July 21. First day at White House.
Scaramucci debuts during the White House daily briefing. He announces that Spicer has tendered his resignation and that Sarah Huckabee Sanders would replace Spicer. He proceeds to spend about 20 minutes answering questions from the assembled reporters, broadly defending the president while mimicking Trump’s best-known mannerisms.
The Mooch did his homework. pic.twitter.com/Wku0DF2ovd
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 24, 2017
1. Sunday, July 30. Tenth day at White House.
Scaramucci essentially makes no news at all, at last performing the job of communications director to the standard of his predecessors.