Did Steve Bannon Play A Role In Getting Anthony Scaramucci Fired?
The White House dropped bombshell news on Monday that newly-appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci would be leaving his post after just 10 days on the job. Though the White House's statement listed official reasons for his being fired, there's suspicion that Scaramucci's comments about Steve Bannon may have played a role in the decision.
The White House Press Office released an official statement claiming Scaramucci wanted to give new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly a "clean slate":
Bannon has kept a low profile in recent months, as Politico reported last week, perhaps trying to stay in the good graces of the president by not stealing headlines or becoming the butt of jokes. In fact, Scaramucci's outlandish and NSFW comments to the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza about the president's advisor were the first time Bannon's name had come up in quite some time. In the interview, Scaramucci supposedly said of Bannon:
Notably, Bannon declined to comment to The New Yorker on Scaramucci's words and four days later, the Mooch was fired.
A source close to the White House texts to respond to Scaramucci's firing: "Don't fuck with Steve."— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) July 31, 2017
In a presser a week before his firing, despite the New Yorker interview, Scaramucci did say that he had a lot of love for Bannon and alluded to their potential to butt heads by citing their "strong personalities." However, he ultimately concluded that they were both committed to "the team" and supporting the president. Per his comments:
However, that respect wasn't really communicated in the now infamous New Yorker interview. And it appears that the clash of their personalities would never really get to be an issue. As Axios noted, Bannon is reportedly on good terms with Trump's new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, whose "blank slate" is credited with Scaramucci's exit. Still, it's unclear whether Bannon had any proven influence in the staffing changes.
Axios won't be printing that Reince resigned yesterday until we have definitive proof. He & Bannon were scheming until the last moment.— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 28, 2017
While it's been said that it was Kelly's intention, as CBS News White House reporter Jackie Alemany reported, to have less Game of Thrones and more order through this ousting of Scaramucci, it's not entirely clear that Trumpland's most infamous player — famously called "President Bannon" and a "puppeteer" — wasn't still playing his long game.