The late British Prime Minister Harold Wilson is famously cited as having said that “a week is a long time in politics”. For recently ousted White House director of communications Anthony Scaramucci, it was nearly his entire political career.
Scaramucci joined the White House team on July 21, 2017. Ten days later, he was fired. FRANCE 24 recaps his brief but, oh, so memorable tenure.
Scaramucci, whose name has been floated for several other White House jobs, is officially named White House Communications Director. The appointment had been a long time coming for the Mooch, whose name had also been floated as a possible candidate to be the director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the US Export-Import Bank. He was ineligible for these jobs because he needed to unload his stake in his SkyBridge hedge fund, which he finally did for a reported $180 million (€152 million).
Finally landing the job is likely a relief for Scaramucci, whose wife filed for divorce on July 6 despite being nine months pregnant. In addition to holding his first press briefing, Scaramucci also gets to see the back of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who resigns before the ink is dry on Scaramucci’s new employment contract because he (perhaps presciently) feels the Mooch will exacerbate the uncertainty plaguing the White House.
In his press conference, Scaramucci professes his undying love for his new boss and air-kisses the press. President Donald Trump responds in kind, issuing a statement saying: “Anthony is a person I have great respect for, and he will be an important addition to this administration.”
Twitter responds in its own loving fashion, launching a boatload of new memes. But there is one question that consumes the Twitterverse above all others: “Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango?”
The denizens of the Twitterverse will get their answer sooner than anyone can imagine.
The Mooch has not always been The Donald’s number one fan. Far from it. During an August 2015 interview, on Fox Business, he called Trump “an inherited-money dude from Queens County”. And his Twitter feed was similarly unflattering, according to tweets recorded for posterity by other users.
But such public displays of disloyalty are not welcome in Trumpland, so Scaramucci dutifully spends his first Saturday on the job cleaning up his Twitter feed, purging it of tweets such as those that praised former president Barack Obama and criticised Trump’s plan for a border wall. To his credit, the Mooch owns up to his subterfuge.
Scaramucci basks in the spotlight of the Sunday morning talk shows, proving his worth to his boss by tackling the President’s biggest irritation: leakers. But he then shows that, like others in the White House, he might well lack the discipline required to avoid becoming a leaker himself.
“Somebody said to me yesterday – I won’t tell you who – that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those emails, you would have never seen it,” he says on CNN’s State of the Union. “You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they’re super confident in their deception skills and hacking.”
When pushed to reveal his source for that information, the Mooch confesses that it had been the President himself.
This has all the appearances of being a roller-coaster day for the Mooch. The high comes when he gets to ride on Air Force One as Trump heads down to deliver a controversial, politicised speech to the Boy Scouts (and for which a Boy Scout official later apologises), an experience exciting enough to make Scaramucci tweet a photo of himself with the President.
The presumed low comes when his estranged wife gives birth to their second child and he misses the blessed event. He reportedly reaches out to the mother of his child with a text that reads: “Congratulations. I’ll pray for our child.”
Another ride on Air Force one, another smiling photo for the Twitter feed. But also a threat issued via reporters: “If the leaks continue then I’ve got to let everybody go,” he tells the journalists onboard the plane.
Will the Mooch look back on this as the day his political career went south? He probably should.
The evening starts pleasantly enough, with a fancy dinner at the White House with POTUS, FLOTUS and some folks from Fox News. But Scaramucci is irked when he realises the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza has gotten wind of the dinner.
After dinner, the Mooch places a fateful call to Lizza to find out who his source was (he seems to suspect Chief of Staff Reince Priebus). The call is so offensive, so obscene, that when news of it comes out, it shocks even a president hardly known for speaking the Queen’s English.
Unsurprisingly to everyone but the Mooch, the New Yorker publishes the conversation with Rizza, which Scaramucci apparently didn’t realise was on the record. Some of the choice tidbits include:
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock” and “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
The man in charge of communication for the Administration is clearly alerted that day that such communications were inappropriate, because slightly before midnight he tweets an unapologetic apology.
And in a move that will prove fatal for Scaramucci, Priebus secretly tenders his resignation.
The New York Post reports that Scaramucci’s obsession with President Trump is, in part, the reason his wife filed for divorce.
The Mooch responds by taking a page out of his boss’s playbook and resorting to Twitter.
But it’s too late for flattery through imitation. Trump ends his day by issuing what will prove to be the death blow to the Mooch.
More defensiveness from the Mooch, but not a lot of other activity, aside from this tweet.
Scaramucci stays under the radar. Does he know what’s coming?
General John Kelly is sworn in as White House Chief of Staff, as Scaramucci looks on.
A short time later, the White House announces that Scaramucci is out. Twitter erupts in mirth.
To add insult to injury for the Mooch, the Harvard Law School alumni directory that lands in his former classmates' mailboxes that day lists him as deceased.
Date created : 2017-08-01