The White House announced key personnel changes to its communications team at its first on-camera press briefing since June.
Speaking to a briefing room that was much more crowded than usual, newly-instated White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Anthony Scaramucci would take over as White House communications director.
Scaramucci has a long career in capital investment, law, and cable news punditry. Prior to his role at the White House, he served on the Trump transition team and worked as a Fox News contributor. He made millions as the founder of the SkyBridge Capital and Oscar Capital Management hedge funds. He also worked with Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs. In late June he was also nominated to become the vice president and chief strategy officer of the U.S.'s Export Import Bank.
He's got a complicated political track record, also.
Scaramucci has appeared on record praising Hillary Clinton and criticizing Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. He's donated to Democrats, and his Davos-esque SALT Conference has hosted conservatives and liberals, alike.
Following Scaramucci's appointment Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his post. According to The New York Times, he resigned because of President Donald Trump's decision to bring on Scaramucci. Spicer will stay on the job through August.
“I am grateful for Sean’s work on behalf of my administration and the American people,” President Trump said in a statement. "I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings.”
Spicer's time at the podium marked some of the highest television ratings for White House press briefings, gaining so much popularity that Melissa McCarthy regularly played him on NBC's “Saturday Night Live.”
But despite the popular performances, Spicer took a step back from regularly briefing the press around the time of the departure of the last White House communications director, Mike Dubke, who left in May. Spicer filled in for Dubke while still taking on some briefing duties this summer.
Reports suggest Sanders, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon were also unhappy with Trump's decision to bring on Scaramucci.
However, during the press briefing, Sanders relayed:
“I can say that he understood that the president wanted to bring in and add new people to the team, and Sean felt like it would be best for that team to be able to start with a totally clean slate."
“I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money,” Scaramucci joked.
Scaramucci said communications staffers Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino would continue working at the White House.
The new communications director would not commit to increasing the number of on-camera White House press briefings, a sore point for many within the White House press corps.
“I don't know, maybe,” he said.
However, the Mooch said he “absolutely” would like to have the president do a press conference.
Spicer and Reince Priebus will be on Fox News's “Hannity” Friday evening.