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Scaramucci ouster a 'sign that someone is willing to spill a little blood,' analyst says

  • Anthony Scaramucci's exit from the White House communications office Monday sends a clear message that Chief of Staff John Kelly is the new sheriff in town, according to Wall Street analysts.
  • The dizzying array of events that preceded the move began with an interview Scaramucci gave to The New Yorker last week.

From Washington to Wall Street to Main Street, Anthony Scaramucci's exit from the White House communications office Monday sends a clear message that there's a new sheriff in town.

The fingerprints of John Kelly, President Donald Trump's new chief of staff, were all over the shock ouster of Scaramucci, who had taken the post just 10 days prior in what itself had been as a major shakeup.

"This is a sign that someone is willing to spill a little blood and maybe he can get them back on track," said Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments and a closely followed expert on the Wall Street/Washington nexus. "First and foremost, they had to show some discipline."

Scaramucci, the brash hedge funder who had been passed over for positions previously in the Trump White House, landed the communications job amid a general level of tumult in the office. If he didn't orchestrate the move himself, he at least foreshadowed the departure of Reince Priebus as chief of staff, a precursor to Kelly's rise to the position and, ultimately, to the end of Scaramucci's short stint in Washington.

"Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team," the White House said in a statement. "We wish him all the best."

The dizzying array of events that preceded the move began with an interview Scaramucci gave to The New Yorker in mid-week.The SkyBridge Capital founder and friend to Wall Street launched into a profanity-strewn tirade against Priebus and Trump advisor Steve Bannon. He then followed it with a bizarre call-in interview with CNN on Thursday morning,

"You can't make this up," Valliere said.

Anthony Scaramucci answers reporters' questions during the daily White House press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci answers reporters' questions during the daily White House press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Predictably, Twitter freaked out over the news.

Ultimately, however, Valliere believes this could help the White House if Kelly can instill a sense of order that has been missing so far.

"If this is a sign that he is going to be a tough guy who believes in the chain of command, I think that's a positive," he said. "I think he couldn't get assurances from Scaramucci that Scaramucci would comply with that chain of command."

As for the precipitating moment that led to the exit, Valliere said his contacts told him that Trump supporters on the Christian right were appalled by the Scaramucci New Yorker interview and may have pressured the president.

"That did a lot of damage with one key Trump constituency," he said. "Trump is under 40 percent job approval. He can't handle another 5 - or 6-point hit. I think that interview hurt (Scaramucci) badly."

On Wall Street, the markets didn't seem to mind yet another round of tumultuous headlines out of Washington. Valliere said that's likely to be the case so long as there are no signs the Trump economic agenda dies along with the chaos.

"There are only two things that could really unnerve the market: signs that the tax bill is dead ... or a geopolitical crisis," he said. "Unless they are saying that the legislative agenda is totally dead, I think the markets just go on to look the other way and live with this."

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