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Anthony Scaramucci is 7th senior White House official to be ousted

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Trump fires White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci 02:50

WASHINGTON -- Gen. John Kelly reported for duty Monday as the new White House chief of staff -- and left no doubt that he is in command.

His first order of business was giving Anthony Scaramucci his discharge papers, just 10 days after he was named communications director, and three days after Scaramucci won a power struggle with Reince Priebus -- forcing his ouster as chief of staff.

So far in the Trump presidency, there have been nearly half as many firings at the White House as in an average season of "The Apprentice." Scaramucci is the seventh senior White House official to be ousted.

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"I love the president. I love the team. I'm a super optimistic guy," Scaramucci said on his first day on the job as White House communications director.

Five days later, his tone had changed -- dramatically. In a profanity-laced interview with The New Yorker, he attacked Priebus, using a vulgar word to call him a "paranoid schizophrenic."

Those comments have now come back to haunt him.

"The president thought Anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person in that position," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.

Can John Kelly fix the White House staff turmoil? 06:19

Scaramucci was fired by the president at the urging of Kelly, a four-star Marine Corps general who was brought in to instill discipline to a White House suffering from months of chaos and internal warfare. Kelly, who served as secretary of Homeland Security, is a favorite of the president and was effusively praised by him in a Cabinet meeting Monday.

"I predict Gen. Kelly will go down -- in terms of the position as chief of staff -- one of the great ever," said Mr. Trump, who insisted on Twitter Monday that there was no White House chaos.

Up to this point, there have been at least three competing power centers at the White House. One led by Priebus, another by chief strategist Steve Bannon, and a third that included the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump. All of them reported independently to the president. It's a management style Mr. Trump has used for decades, and long-time aides have insisted he will never change.

New White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, flanked by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, speaks at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, on July 21, 2017. Reuters

But at least for now, the plan is to try a military-style chain of command to bring structure and discipline to a White House that previously had neither.

"Gen. Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House, and all staff will report to him," Sanders said Monday.

Scaramucci was in the Oval Office Monday morning for Gen. Kelly's swearing in. But a short time later, he was gone.

Late Monday, Mr. Trump tweeted: "A great day at the White House."

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