White House Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short was dismissed by incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci signaled that more dismissals are in the works. According to POLITICO, Scaramucci said: “I’m committed to taking the comms shop down to Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] and me, if I can’t get the leaks to stop.” On Monday, which was Scaramucci’s first day on the job, told staffers, “I offered amnesty in the meeting, but that decision is above my rank.”
As for Short, he denied involvement in leaks. “Allegations I ever leaked anything are demonstrably false.” Short was closely associated with White House aide and former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. He was also aligned with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who resigned on Friday. Short worked for a time on the Trump campaign, but then resigned. He was brought on to the White House staff because of Priebus. On Tuesday, Short dismissed any accusations of being a leaker, but announced his resignation via text message anyway.
POLITICO reported that campaign staffers frequently tell the story of arriving for work at Trump Tower one morning before the election to find Short’s computer open and abandoned on his desk. Some were stunned to find him working in the White House after President Trump’s inauguration.
On Friday, Scaramucci could not predict for reporters who will stay or who will go at the press office. However, he averred that both social media director Dan Scavino and communications strategist Hope Hicks will remain. He has named Sanders -- the first female White House Press Secretary -- to take over from Spicer.
Speaking to reporters just outside the West Wing, Scaramucci denounced the news of Short's firing as yet another leak, even though he himself had revealed it. "This is the problem with the leaking," Scaramucci said. "This is actually a terrible thing. Let’s say I’m firing Michael Short today. The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic." The former hedge fund manager said he will aggressively seek out leakers. “I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” Scaramucci said. He added that he is utterly certain he has the authority to do so.
Both Priebus and Spicer were adamantly opposed to bringing on Scaramucci. Short was close to both of them, having been a colleague at the Republican National Committee. According to The Hill, a GOP operative said of Scaramucci, “It sure looks like by getting rid of Short today, he’s starting to pick off Reince’s guys.”