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Trump's revolving door claims communications chief

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Washington White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is out of a job just 10 days after US President Donald Trump appointed him.

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“Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director,” spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

“Mr Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best.”

The president had given “full authority” to Kelly, who took over as White House chief of staff on Monday, to craft his own team and “bring a new structure to the White House and discipline and strength”, Sanders told reporters.

Scaramucci had issued a profanity-filled tirade against the previous chief of staff, Reince Priebus, last week amid broader tumult among the White House staff.

Sanders would not say whether Scaramucci had resigned or been fired, but made clear he now has no role in the administration.

“The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position,” she said.

Trump named Kelly to chief of staff on Friday in a staff shake-up as he ousted Priebus.

Trump expressed confidence during a cabinet meeting with his new team that Kelly would be among “one of the great ever” chiefs of staff and thanked him for his tenure as homeland security secretary, which Kelly left to take the White House position.

Trump touted to reporters that the country was doing well, citing record-high stock market indices and the low unemployment rate, and said the country would do even better with Kelly heading White House staff.

“Overall, I think we’re doing incredibly well. The economy is doing incredibly well, and many other things,” Trump said at the start of the cabinet meeting.

He acknowledged challenges in North Korea and the Middle East, “lots of problems that we inherited from previous administrations”.

“But we’ll take care of them. We’ll take care of them very well,” he said, without elaborating. Asked later by a reporter specifically about North Korea, which tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, Trump simply said: “We’ll handle North Korea.”

Trump had earlier downplayed reports that the staff change was representative of broader chaos in the administration.

In a tweet shortly before, Trump declared there was “no White House chaos!”

Priebus stepped down last week after a tumultuous week of White House infighting and rising indications that Trump was unhappy with the long-time Republican Party insider as his legislative agenda faltered.

The recent reshuffling, which included a new White House spokeswoman after spokesman Sean Spicer stepped aside following Scaramucci’s appointment, has fuelled criticism that the Trump administration is in disarray.

The White House gave no indication who might replace Scaramucci and Sanders did not comment on whether Spicer could be promoted to communications director.

The cabinet meeting included Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, against whom Trump has recently lashed out on Twitter, describing him as “beleaguered”.

– Reuters

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