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White House shakeup is a 'very foolish move,' former Bush advisor says

  • White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned on Friday after opposing President Trump's appointment of hedge-fund star Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.
  • Bringing in someone who is not a "seasoned pro" at White House communications will add more turmoil to the administration, not calm the storm, GOP strategist Ron Christie said.

The recent shakeup in the Trump administration was "a very foolish move" that will add "more turmoil" to the White House, Republican strategist Ron Christie told CNBC on Friday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned on Friday after opposing President Donald Trump's appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

Scaramucci is a former hedge-fund star and is currently the U.S. Export-Import Bank's senior vice president.

"The president has brought in someone who is a loyalist, someone who he feels comfortable with. But just the same way I wouldn't hire a finance person to run my communications department, you now have someone coming in who is going to be in charge of the White House message," Christie said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"This is going to add more turmoil to this White House rather than calm the storm."

New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci speaks to members of the media in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 21, 2017.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP
New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci speaks to members of the media in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 21, 2017.

Christie, who served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush, said what the White House needs in its communications director is a "seasoned pro" who has a good relationship with the chief of staff.

"Bringing in someone who has not run communications in the White House, I think, is a very foolish move at this juncture," he said.

Plus, Scaramucci will have to deal with a president who likes to constantly tweet, sometimes contradicting the White House's message.

"You can bring in the most seasoned communications professional in the world and have that message blown up by a 140-character tweet," Christie said.

"This president more than ever needs strong people around him, people who are in the position [to say] 'No, Mr. President, it's not good for you to do that. I suggest you take a different course and a different tack."

Scaramucci addressed the issue during his first briefing on Friday. While he wouldn't specifically say what would happen if Trump tweeted something that differed from the White House's message, he said Trump's use of social media has been "very effective" in reaching the American public directly.

"I welcome him continuing to do that. I think it's very, very important to him to express his identity," Scaramucci said.

Meanwhile, it is also important the communications director have a good relationship with the chief of staff, Christie said.

Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, along with top advisor Steve Bannon, resisted the appointment of Scaramucci, NBC News reported on Friday.

As to whether the latest drama will affect Trump's legislative agenda, Christie said tax reform is "in serious peril" unless Trump rolls up his sleeves and gets to work, engaging with members of Congress.

— CNBC's Angelica LaVito contributed to this report.

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