Anthony Scaramucci is out as White House communications director. Photo by Jdarsie11; courtesy Wikimedia Commons

10 Days In, Pro-LGBT Scaramucci Out From White House Role

BY CHRIS JOHNSON, WASHINGTON BLADE

Ten days after his appointment as White House communications director, which some hoped would change the administration's approach to LGBT rights, Anthony Scaramucci has left the role.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Scaramucci, nicknamed the "Mooch," was set to exit the White House after major media outlets reported the news.

"Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director," Sanders said. "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 10 days Scaramucci occupied the White House were marked by open assaults in the press against former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, whom Scaramucci derided as being a leaker to the press and mocked as a "paranoid schizophrenic" using colorful expletives.

Scaramucci's remarks to the New Yorker on Priebus soaked up a lot of the attention last week, when the Senate was considering and failed to pass a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Wall Street financier-turned-White House communications director also bemoaned the publication of his personal finance document, even though they're publicly available. Additionally, Scaramucci's wife, Deidre Scaramucci, announced last week she'd file for divorce shortly after his appointment even though she's nine months pregnant, citing his "naked ambition."

Priebus, former chair of the Republican National Committee, reportedly objected to Scaramucci's appointment as White House communications director on the basis of his outsider status. Also opposing Scaramucci's appointment was former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who resigned in the aftermath.

A self-proclaimed "gay rights activist," Scaramucci in November predicted Trump would support LGBT rights as president and said he gave money to LGBT groups.

"I'm also a gay rights activist," Scaramucci said. "You can look it up. I've given to American Unity PAC, I've given to the Human Rights Campaign, I'm for marriage equality. And by the way, this'll be the first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay rights stance."

Some hoped Scaramucci would move the administration away from assaults on LGBT rights upon his appointment as communication director, but those hopes were quickly dashed. Days after Scaramucci came to the White House, the Trump administration unleashed a torrent of anti-LGBT attacks.

In one day, Trump announced he'd ban transgender people from the armed forces "in any capacity," his Justice Department voluntarily filed a legal brief asserting gay people have no legal protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and he appointed as ambassador at large for international religious freedom Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who's renowned for undermining LGBT rights in the name of "religious liberty."

It's not the first time Scaramucci was given a White House position that was later gone. At the start of the administration, Scaramucci was initially named head of the White House Office of Public Engagement, but the appointment was later rescinded.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political and White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National Gay Media Association.
  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: World AIDS Day
Rising Above

Activist Cleve Jones has lived an extraordinary life, filled with world-changing friends and figureheads from Harvey Milk to Dustin Lance Black.

View More World AIDS Day
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!