Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Chief of Staff John Kelly is to blame for the departure of Hope Hicks, who took over the comms shop after Scaramucci left, and claimed White House “morale is at an all-time low.”
“The morale is terrible. The reason why the morale is terrible is because of the rule by fear and intimidation does not work in a civilian environment,” Scaramucci said during an interview with CNN Thursday. “If the current situation and the current culture inside the administration stays exactly the way it is, there’s literally no change, there will be a lot more departures. Morale is at an all-time low and it’s trending lower.”
The Mooch was also highly critical of Kelly’s handling of former White House official Rob Porter’s resignation, who left after allegations of domestic abuse began to surface last month. Kelly reportedly knew that Porter was working under an interim security clearance as the FBI investigated the allegations of abuse, but the White House denies those reports.
“I don’t believe that,” Scaramucci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, referencing the White House defense of Kelly. “I hold the White House chief of staff accountable for that. Because he had the information related to Porter. … He had the information, he tried to cover up the information, he tried to get other people in the White House to cover up the information for him.”
Scaramucci also was irked that Kelly “would allow Hope to date Porter if he’s got that information.” Hicks was reportedly in a relationship with Porter at the time of his departure and she helped craft an initial White House statement in response to the allegations, which came to light after both his ex-wives went public with their stories of Porter’s alleged pattern of anger and abuse. Scaramucci also said he was personally bothered by the fact that Porter was allowed to stay in his post even though Kelly knew about the accusations.
“I’ll tell you what I don’t like about it,” he said. “I talked a little bit of smack about two guys that we were trying to get rid of, he fires me in five seconds. These guys are smacking up their wives and he’s trying to find a way to keep them inside the White House.”
Scaramucci was fired after a tumultuous 10 days in the White House. He gave a profanity-laden interview to The New Yorker, where he was derogative and critical of former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Watch a clip of the interview below: