New Trump communications director promises crackdown on media leaks
WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) – Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s new communications director, said on Sunday that one of his first tasks will be to halt leaks and that staff on his team would be fired if the leaks do not stop.
“If we don’t get the leaks stopped, I am a businessperson, and so I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks,” Scaramucci said on Fox News Sunday.
Scaramucci told CBS’s Face the Nation that leakers are “actually un-American,” and that he would lead a team meeting on Monday.
SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci, aide to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Trump said his administration would produce a full report on hacking within the first 90 days of his presidency and accused ‘my political opponents and a failed spy’ of making ‘phony allegations’ against him. Photographer: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg
Anthony Scaramucci, SkyBridge Capital Founder and aide to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 17 – 20. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital LLC, speaks during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The SALT Conference facilitates balanced discussions and debates on macro-economic trends, geo-political events and alternative investment opportunities for the year ahead. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci, Founder and Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital, speaks at the Volatility as the New Normal event in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 21, 2015. More than 1,500 business leaders and 40 heads of state or government will attend the Jan. 21-24 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to network and discuss big themes, from the price of oil to the future of the Internet. This year they are meeting in the midst of upheaval, with security forces on heightened alert after attacks in Paris, the European Central Bank considering a radical government bond-buying programme and the safe-haven Swiss franc rocketing. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (SWITZERLAND – Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 14: Anthony Scaramucci attends SkyBridge Capital Holiday Celebration at Hunt & Fish Club on December 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 14: Eric Bolling and Anthony Scaramucci attend SkyBridge Capital Holiday Celebration at Hunt & Fish Club on December 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 27: Deidre Scaramucci and Anthony Scaramucci attend ‘Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole’ Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 27: Anthony Scaramucci attends the ‘Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole’ Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 27: Susan Scaramucci Mandato and Anthony Scaramucci attend ‘Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole’ Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 27: Anthony Scaramucci and Maria Bartiromo host FOX Business Network’s ‘Wall Street Week’ at FOX Studios on April 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital II LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Scaramucci, economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, discussed the accuracy of polls in the U.S. presidential election and Trump’s economic policy and support of free trade. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner of SkyBridge Capital LLC, speaks during a gala event at the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Asia conference in Singapore, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. SkyBridge Capital LLC, the $6.7 billion fund of hedge funds that organizes the biggest industry event in the U.S., plans to increase investments in Asia as it kicks off its first conference in the region. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The hiring of Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and Republican fundraiser, brings a combative style to the White House press office as President Donald Trump lashes out at probes into whether his campaign colluded with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into any relationships or contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russia during the election, but Trump has not been accused of any wrongdoing by federal investigators.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who became a household name in his short and turbulent drama-filled term, quickly resigned after Scaramucci’s appointment. Sarah Sanders, Spicer’s deputy, was promoted to press secretary.
Scaramucci was forced to deal with leaks on his first days on the job after The Washington Post reported last week that Trump and his legal team had examined presidential powers to pardon aides, family members and potentially himself.
Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday that leaks against the administration are a “crime” and that he has “complete power to pardon.”
Scaramucci said Trump only tweeted about the issue of pardons in reaction to the leak. Trump “doesn’t like the fact that he has a two-minute conversation in the Oval Office or in his study and that people are running out and leaking,” about the administration examining legal options of pardons, Scaramucci, who reports directly to Trump, said on CBS. “There’s no need for him to pardon anybody,” he said.
And Scaramucci, who has at times supported Democrats, spent part of the weekend deleting some of his own past tweets on subjects that run counter to Trump administration policy, such as taking action on climate change. Explaining the deletions, Scaramucci wrote on Twitter that “past views evolved & shouldn’t be a distraction.” (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
More from AOL.com:
Anthony Scaramucci joined Team Trump, then started deleting old tweets
Trump weighing Anthony Scaramucci for White House communications director
Trump tries to explain why Scaramucci backed other GOP candidates first