Reince Priebus reportedly spent the day trying to convince everyone that he and new communications director Anthony Scaramucci are close friends and not adversaries.
“I knew it was a lie!” Fox News’ Sean Hannity exclaimed during an interview with Priebus.
But according to Politico, the new hire threw the West Wing into chaos. Senior aide Steve Bannon “was still unhappy” after the announcement was made. “Priebus spent the day trying to convince others that he and Scaramucci are close friends and that [Sean] Spicer’s departure wasn’t bad,” Politico said. All the while, the White House staff seemed to in a nuclear meltdown over the latest in the Russia investigation.
Priebus and Bannon may have been miffed by the way that the hire was made: they weren’t consulted. In fact, Trump blocked them from the meeting entirely. The meetings Thursday were largely with Trump’s family, according to administration officials. Spicer had no clue what was happening. Up until this point, Trump had assured him that his job was secure and there was no need for worry, despite the Washington, D.C. rumor-mill quoting insiders saying he was done.
“Spicer was soon being bombarded Thursday evening with media reports that he was getting a new boss in title — even though he didn’t know exactly what to say,” Politico said.
Priebus and Bannon tried to “slow or block” the hire. Indeed, one senior White House official revealed that many in the White House didn’t want to see Trump hire Scaramucci.
“It happened because the family wanted it and because Trump wanted it,” the source told Politico.
Friday morning, Spicer met with the president to weigh his options. Once Scaramucci’s title was announced, he returned to the Oval Office and said he disagreed with the hire and “quickly resigned,” according to those briefed on the meeting.
Trump was reportedly shocked by the resignation and asked him to stay on and that the two could work together.
“It would all work out, we’ll all be on the same team,” Trump told Spicer, according to someone told of the comments.
Spicer was done.
Politico then quoted Jim Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, who gathered that it would be Melissa McCarthy who would live on in the history books and not Sean Spicer.
Hannity worked diligently to help the White House convey the message that everything was fine in the West Wing. The damage control soldiered on despite the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have lied about his interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Previous reports, however, revealed some troubles between the two as Trump tried to appoint Scaramucci to other positions.
“I never said that he had a job,” Spicer said when asked about Scaramucci being appointed by Trump to lead the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.
“Reince is trying to cut someone who has a direct line to Trump,” a person close to Trump told Politico at the time. “This is where Reince wants to throw down the marker, but he will lose this one.”
In an earlier interview, Spicer told Hannity about the White House drama that they “had a very successful Made In America Week this week.”
Watch the opening clip of Hannity’s interview with Priebus below: