Feb 27, 2018 - Politics

Scaramucci says White House morale very low, Kelly should resign

Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci says chief of staff John Kelly should resign. (Photo: Ina Fried/Axios)

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci reiterated his call for the ouster of Chief of Staff John Kelly, citing low White House morale. "He’s lost the locker room," Scaramucci said at the NewCo Shift Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday. "The morale in the White House, on a scale of 1-10, is minus 15. You cannot run the White House through fear and intimidation."

Why it matters: Scaramucci has held his tongue on most issues since leaving the administration; But not any more. The former comms director has been calling for Kelly to step down over his handling of the Rob Porter scandal, saying that Kelly knew about Porter's history of domestic abuse for months. "You can’t ask people in the White House to cover up something like this," Scaramucci said.

On his tenure as White House communications director: "I was there for 11 days... 954,000 seconds. Me and my therapist sort of think about it that way."

On life after the White House: "I have the name recognition of Melania or Ivanka and I didn’t have to be the president’s wife or daughter. So I think it worked out pretty well."

On gun control: "I'm pro-second amendment and you’ve got to stop the mass shootings."

On marriage equality: "Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness... Is that only for straight people? ... Republicans are for smaller government everywhere except the bedroom... We should knock that nonsense off too."

What's next

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

Go deeperArrow13 mins ago - Sports

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Impeachment: Then & now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We are living in a measurably different political and media landscape than when the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges in 1999.

The big picture: These dynamics are setting the pace as President Trump’s legal team speeds through arguments to seek a fast acquittal.