Another top Trump official is gone. Here’s how we got here

Anthony Scaramucci, the newly installed White House communications director, was removed after 11 days on the job. The move comes as John Kelly began his first day as President Trump's chief of staff. Lisa Desjardins joins William Brangham to discuss the latest exit in a series of shakeups in the Trump administration.

Read the Full Transcript


    The tumult at the White House continues to churn at a pace unprecedented for an American president.

    Anthony Scaramucci, just 10 days on the job of communications director, is out. The move comes on John Kelly's first day as President Trump's chief of staff.

    Our own Lisa Desjardins is here to walk us through these shakeups at the top.

    Welcome, Lisa.


    Thank you.


    Pretty dizzying set of days here. Walk us through the timeline of how we got here.


    All right, to do that, let's go way back to 10 days ago.

    That's when we saw Anthony Scaramucci be hired as the communications director, the same day Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned. Then, five days later, July 26, he that call to The New Yorker, to a New Yorker reporter, in which Scaramucci used a series of profane words to openly attack Chief of Staff Priebus.

    Then, the next one to go, July 28, Friday, Reince Priebus resigned. That brings us to today, when we're told by the White House that Anthony Scaramucci will no longer be communications director or have any other role in the White House at all.

    Now, for Scaramucci, this comes as the sale of his company is still an open question. That's still working through a regulatory process, and it's not clear what is going to happen with him and that.


    So, what is the — there's been a lot of reporting as to what actually drove this. Was this Chief of Staff Kelly on day one of the job pushing him out? Was it the president saying enough is enough? What do we know about how we got here?


    Well, let's start with the words of the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, herself. Here's what she said today.

  • SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, White House Press Secretary:

    The president certainly felt that Anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person in that position, and he didn't want to burden General Kelly, also, with that line of succession.

    As I think we have made clear a few times over the course of the last couple of days to several of you individually, but General Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House and all staff will report to him.


    In other words, it was both.

    And that last line was really important, William. She is saying all staff will report to Kelly. That includes Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon. All the advisers, she said, now report to him.


    In your sense, does this really matter? How important is this kind of a shakeup?


    Right, clearly a tempest, a tempest that is going to last and be important.

    I think the takeaway here for me, as I look at this White House, is the four key positions that you have year in, year out at the White House, chief of staff, press secretary, communications director, and your national security adviser, those are the positions that keep changing at this White House. They are not stable.

    What is stable? These advisers like Jared Kushner or Steve Bannon, whose jobs, it's not really clear what they are. Now, that might work for this president. It seems to. But it's a real problem for his Cabinet officials and for agencies in Washington.


    All right, Lisa Desjardins, thanks so much.

Listen to this Segment