The news media are dismissing the new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci much the same way they derided Donald Trump. "A P.T. Barnum in a Ferragamo tie" is how the New York Times referred to Scaramucci after his appointment on Friday. The Times ridiculed his initial appearance before reporters, accusing him of being "over the top" for professing his love of Donald Trump and his administration and for blowing a kiss to reporters as he left the lectern.
Reporters aren't the only ones skeptical of Scaramucci and his lack of communications experience. Ben White of Politico reports that "White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon confronted Anthony Scaramucci in the West Wing on Friday morning, threatening to block the financier's appointment." Scaramucci responded to their animosity by laughing it off. As Politico reported: "He knew something they didn't: He already had the job."
Donald Trump, an outsized personality if ever there was one, is drawn to Scaramucci, a boisterous defender of Trump on TV who has overcome initial resistance within the White House to get a top job that reports directly to the president. In January, Scaramucci had been in line for the job of White House liaison to the business community but was iced out over a controversy involving the Chinese financiers who bought his hedge fund so he could enter the administration. Now the man whom his former Wall Street colleagues call "The Mooch" has had the last laugh.
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But fixing the White House's communications shortcomings will be a taller order. On Fox News Sunday, Scaramucci pledged "to take drastic" action to stop White House aides from leaking to the news media: "If you're going to keep leaking, I'm going to fire everybody." Scaramucci has told associates that some people in the White House act as if they are in the movie Mean Girls, the 2004 comedy about high-school cliques that devise ingenious ways to undermine one another.