White House press secretary Sean Spicer has resigned over Donald Trump's appointment of hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci to the position of White House communications director, the New York Times reports—a position in which Scaramucci would have become Spicer's boss.
Scaramucci does not have the traditional background of a political communications operative, but he was one of Trump's earliest and most vocal backers on Wall Street and has long been rumored to be in the mix for a White House role. Spicer is reportedly not alone in the West Wing in believing that bringing Scaramucci aboard is a mistake, though:
Reince Priebus furious, per multiple who spoke w him. He has tried blocking Scaramucci at various points.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 21, 2017
It makes sense that chief of staff Priebus, the former director of the Republican National Committee, would object to Scarmucci's hiring; Priebus is the White House's foremost advocate of a conventional-wisdom "let's try to make things operate somewhat normally" strategy, and Scaramucci is a loose cannon. To wit, here's a riff he went on in front of New York magazine reporter Jessica Pressler in January:
And the other thing I have learned about these people in Washington ... is they have no money. So what happens when they have no fucking money is they fight about what seat they are in and what the title is. Fucking congressmen act like that. They are fucking jackasses.
Scaramucci subsequently complimented Pressler for not looking "old":
“How old are you?” he asked. “You look good. No lines on your face. What are you, a Sagittarius?"
"Don’t say I was drinking," he later told her while drinking a margarita.
Scaramucci also made headlines in October for comparing an Obama-era rule requiring financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients to the 1857 Supreme Court Dred Scott ruling, which held that black people could not be American citizens:
“It's about like the Dred Scott decision,” Mr. Scaramucci said.
He made the analogy because he views the DOL rule as discriminatory, Mr. Scaramucci wrote in a follow-up email.
Incidentally, White House senior adviser Steve Bannon also apparently despises Scaramucci:
WH insider tells me-Bannon told Scaramucci this morning. "Over my dead body will you get this job!!" somebody better check Bannon's pulse— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) July 21, 2017
Despite coming from the crude/bombastic school of public discourse himself, Bannon believes that "globalist" Wall Street bankers (like Scaramucci, presumably, but also Jewish ones) have stolen America's wealth from the white working man, so this makes sense as well.
It appears that in the end, though, Bannon and Priebus were up against Trump's most important adviser, Any Working Television:
Source close to WH press shop tells me Trump "wanted to give Scaramucci something to do because he likes him on TV"— Kate Nocera (@KateNocera) July 21, 2017
And that's how things get done in the White House these days! USA #1.
Update, 1:45 p.m.: The White House's briefing Friday will be conducted by deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.