Inside the Purge

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to members of the media in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci speaks to members of the media in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

I mentioned yesterday that Anthony Scaramucci’s brief – as evidenced by his actions in a few days on the job – looked a lot more like chief advisor or even chief of staff than communications director, which is, paradoxically, a not terribly visible role. Sure enough, according to an overnight story in the Post, Scaramucci has a brief to purge ‘disloyal’ staffers and bring in more people from Fox News.

According to the Post’s account, ‘disloyal’ in this case mainly means people associated with Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer. Another way of looking at this is that that largely means people who had any professional standing in Washington or politics before Trump took over the GOP. Meanwhile, Scaramucci is also leading the way in the effort to push out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, telling the increasingly servile Trump toady Hugh Hewitt this morning that the President “probably” wants Sessions “gone” because he has failed to protect the President from the Russia probe.

On the White House front, there even seems to be a list of names. From the Post

Scaramucci has long complained to associates that some White House staffers have been more focused on managing the image of Priebus than on defending Trump and promoting his agenda. An informal list of names, including several officials who previously worked under Priebus and Spicer at the Republican National Committee, has been circulating among Scaramucci allies as those whose jobs may be in jeopardy.

Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short, according to Politico, is among the first to get canned. It seems likely that that even if Scaramucci remains Communications Director and doesn’t become chief of staff himself – which I would not rule out – that the White House will now be run from the communications office, with a new chief of staff effectively, if not formally, reporting to Scaramucci.

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