Newly appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has fired an aide close to Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer in a bid to purge the White House of leakers.
The plan to fire assistant press secretary Michael Short, one of many staffers in a department dominated by former Republican National Committee employees loyal to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer, was first reported by POLITICO.
“I have not been informed of any decision,” Short said immediately after news broke of his dismissal.
Speaking to reporters on the grounds of the White House, Scaramucci expressed anger over the leak of Short’s firing.
“This is the problem with the leaking,” he said. “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.”
Scaramucci previously warned he was prepared to fire everyone in the communications department short of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and himself if the leaks continued.
“I’m committed to taking the comms shop down to Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] and me, if I can’t get the leaks to stop,” he told POLITICO.
Scaramucci reportedly met with communications staffers and warned them about leaks coming from the office, offering them “amnesty” if the leaks ended.
“I offered amnesty in the meeting, but that decision is above my rank,” Scaramucci said.
In comments to reporters on Friday immediately after being hired by President Trump, Scaramucci refused to guarantee all those currently in the communications department will keep their jobs, apart from social media director Dan Scavino and communications strategist Hope Hicks.
“We have to get the leaks stopped,” he told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “What’s going on right now is a high level of unprofessionalism, and it’s not helping the president. … I will take drastic action to stop the leaks.”
Short denied any involvement in leaking information to the press, claiming “allegations I ever leaked anything are demonstrably false.”
Short was the subject of scorn by many after abruptly quitting the Trump campaign – only to suddenly rejoin the administration as a White House staffer following the appointment of Priebus as chief of staff.
Trump campaign staffers recall arriving at Trump Tower one morning to find Short’s computer left open on his otherwise empty desk.
Short argued he had been on a part-time assignment from the RNC and decided to return “to do my real job.”
Numerous White House staffers loyal to Priebus have expressed concerns about the future of their jobs in comments to Fox News.