White House press aide resigns amid Scaramucci’s threat to ‘fire everybody’
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s new communications director says he’s prepared to clean house in order to stop information leaks which have plagued the administration.
Anthony Scaramucci, the Wall Street financier tapped for the role last week, said Tuesday that he was prepared to ‘‘fire everybody’’ to stop information leaks from the press office.
Speaking to reporters, Scaramucci said that he was ‘‘not doing an investigation. I’m just going to get the leaking to stop.’’ He stressed that he had ‘‘the authority from the president to do that.’’
‘‘You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to get fired,’’ Scaramucci said.
The Trump administration has been troubled by numerous damaging leaks amid the Russia investigation. The president has criticized the leaks and urged authorities to prosecute the alleged leakers.
Scaramucci told the Associated Press later on Tuesday that White House press aide Michael Short had resigned under pressure. Scaramucci said he did not know Short, but ‘‘the person who wanted me to fire him outranks me.’’
Scaramucci said he did not know if Short had leaked information and said he wished him well. He also said the rest of the communications staff had ‘‘amnesty’’ as long as they ‘‘stop leaking.’’
Short could not be immediately reached for comment.
Trump appointed Scaramucci to the job Friday. The hedge fund manager is a polished television commentator, but has limited experience running a communications operation. He is taking over the role crafting the president’s message at a time when Trump faces dropping approval ratings and is struggling to advance his legislative agenda.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned in protest over the hire and his deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been named to replace him.
Over the weekend, Scaramucci pledged on Fox News to begin ‘‘an era of a new good feeling’’ and said he hopes to ‘‘create a more positive mojo.’’