White House communications director warns of mass purge over unofficial revelations

UPDATE — 7/25, 5:19 p.m. EDT: Speaking to reporters Tuesday, White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci explained how he plans to make good on his promise to stop unauthorized Cabinet-level staff from divulging information to the public.

“I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” he said. “You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to be fired.”

Earlier Tuesday, Scaramucci told Politico he would terminate assistant press secretary Michael Short, a former RNC staffer close to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. Apparently catching wind of the report, Short resigned before being fired.

 

In three separate appearances on Sunday morning talk shows, newly-minted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci outlined the responsibilities of his new role, of which his most compelling duty is to stop government leaks.

In a staff reshuffling on Friday, Mr. Scaramucci was named White House Director of Communications after the resignation of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take over for.

Since President Trump assumed office in January, the White House has repeatedly denounced the inordinate amount of leaks and threatened dismissal and possible criminal prosecution for those found responsible.

Taking an aggressive stance against excessive leaks, Scaramucci declared leakers to be “un-American” and unauthorized disclosures to be damaging to the nation.

Responding to Face the Nation‘s John Dickerson’s question over  fate of leakers on Scaramucci’s watch, Scaramucci responded:

“They’re going to get fired. I’m just going to make it very, very clear, okay? Tomorrow I’m going to have a staff meeting. And it’s going to be a very binary thing. I’m not going to make any prejudgments about anybody on that staff. If they want to stay on the staff, they’re going to stop leaking.”

Vowing bold action against leakers in a similar appearance with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Scaramucci reiterated the significance of his task:

“[W]e have to get the leaks stopped. If we don’t get them stopped. I’m a businessperson so I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks. . . . If the leaks don’t stop I’m going to pare down the staff because it’s just not right. . . . Something is going on inside the White House that the president does not like. We will fix it.”

A day after taking the job as President Trump’s media-relations manager, Scaramucci also announced he would be deleting all old tweets on his personal Twitter account, some of which contradict the current White House agenda.

“The politics of “gotcha” are over. I have a thick skin and we’re moving on to @POTUS agenda serving the American people,” he tweeted in announcing the purge.

 

[Axios] [Reuters] [The Guardian] [AP via Yahoo News] [Photo courtesy AFP/Getty Images via CNBC]