White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has pledged to fire any West Wing staffers he suspects of leaking information to the press. Scaramucci’s hiring and recent rhetoric has signaled to several onlookers that there will be a purge in the Trump administration.
Scaramucci announced during a July 25 press conference that he was willing to fire the entire White House staff if the internal leaks to the media did not stop.
"I'm going to fire everybody -- that's how... You're either going to stop leaking, or you're going to get fired," Scaramucci told reporters when asked how he would curb the leaks, according to The New York Times.
On July 21, President Donald Trump appointed Scaramucci to head the White House communications department. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned in protest and was replaced by Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
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The new communications director asserted that the Trump administration was being hindered by staff leaks to the press and promised to root out anyone he believed was disloyal to the president.
"There are leakers in the comms shop, there are leakers everywhere," Scaramucci continued. "It damages the president personally, it damages the institution of the presidency, and I don't like it."
Scaramucci stated that he was willing to whittle the White House staff down to just him and Sanders.
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"If they don't stop leaking, I'm going to put them out on Pennsylvania Avenue," Scaramucci concluded. "Do you want to sell postcards to the tourists outside the gate, or do you want to work in the West Wing. What do you want to do?"
Meanwhile, White House insiders have alleged that Scaramucci was personally meeting with every staff member to gauge their level of loyalty to Trump. The president reportedly gave the communications director the authority to fire any staffer other than strategic communications director Hope Hicks and director of social media Dan Scavino.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus' allies in the administration are allegedly the most vulnerable to the potential purge, The Washington Post reports.
The Trump White House has undoubtedly experienced more leaks to the press than previous administrations. The repeated media disclosures have infuriated the president.
"I can't recall having seen a situation where there appears to be so much leaking of such an intimate nature in such a short period of time," Russell Riley of the University of Virginia told TPM.
GOP strategist Ryan Williams is skeptical that Scaramucci could bring more message discipline and internal loyalty within the Trump administration than Spicer.
"The majority of the communications problems have been caused by the president going off script and blowing up a well-planned message week with a single tweet, and it doesn't matter who the staffers are in the communications office if the principals can't get on the same page with the message and exercise some self-discipline," Williams explained.
The GOP strategist added "maybe Anthony Scaramucci will be able to persuade the president to stay on message, but I'll believe it when I see it."
Scaramucci signaled July 24 that he would tailor his role in the White House to solely bolster the president's image. A former Wall Street banker, the communications director said that his new role was similar to his career in the financial sector.
"It's a client service business," Scaramucci asserted about his task of relaying the Trump agenda to the rest of the country. "And he's my client... I've subordinated my views to the views of the president."