- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Wednesday that he will continue firing people if they are not serving President Trump “honorably.”

“You have a one-in-a-million, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve the country and president of the United States, and you need to serve honorably. If you can’t do that, I have the stomach and backbone to fire you,” Mr. Scaramucci said on Fox News.

The communications director said he did give former press assistant Michael Short the opportunity to resign after reports Tuesday that Mr. Short was fired with no warning.

Mr. Scaramucci said he did not want to fire Mr. Short, but that somebody of higher rank in the White House directed him to do so.

“I got rid of somebody inside the staff because somebody above my ranks suggested that person needed to be fired. I didn’t want to fire him as much as we wanted to give him the opportunity to resign. I talked to him last night, by phone, and I said I’m here to help you find another job,” Mr. Scaramucci told CNN.

He declined to say whether the order came from President Trump.

Mr. Short told The Washington Times that he resigned Tuesday morning.

“It’s been a privilege to serve the president of the United States,” he said.

Mr. Scaramucci declined to say whether he believed Mr. Short was a “leaker” but indicated it was possible. Mr. Short has denied that he was a leaker, telling Politico, “Allegations I ever leaked anything are demonstrably false.”

“I honestly don’t know him personally and I don’t want to hurt his reputation,” Mr. Scaramucci said. “People make mistakes in life. I’m a big believer in redemption and giving people second chances, but not here at the White House.”

Concerning the turmoil surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mr. Scaramucci said the president likes “fighters” and seemed to encourage Mr. Sessions to push back on the president.

“I’d tell people to stay tough. The president likes tough people, likes fighters,” he said. “I think the president is trying to signal to people that I need your advocacy. If you’re doing things you’d don’t like I’m going to express that.”

Mr. Scaramucci did express optimism about working with Mr. Sessions on an inter-agency effort to stop the leaks from inside the administration.

“I want to work with agencies and departments to get the message coordinated amongst ourselves. I’m not naive. I know we’re never going to end all of the leaking,” he said on CNN. “We have to go step-by-step, person to person, and figure out if we can fortify their confidence, fortify their security. If we can’t do that, we gotta ask them to leave because nefarious leaking is disloyal to the president.”

Mr. Scaramucci also said he has not met Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and could not say whether Mr. Tillerson’s unannounced time off was a result of frustration with the administration, as has been reported. Some have even speculated tat Mr. Tillerson is considering resigning after multiple holdups of his appointments and scuffles with people at the White House.

Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

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