Sean Spicer may just be the first in the long list of those quitting on Donald Trump

Published: July 24, 2017
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Scaramucci is a suave and savvy businessman who plays the TV well and is known for, just like Trump, ruthless business tactics.

Change is the only constant in Washington. We know that. However, whereas Fridays are usually on the slower and uneventful side, this past Friday, July 21, 2017, was one hell of an exception. It was anything but slow or uneventful. In fact, it turned out to be one of those Fridays when you know before noon that today is going to be “that” Friday!

As if Donald Trump’s New York Times interview earlier in the week was not enough to create a furor, the appointment of Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci as the White House (WH) communications director triggered a counter reaction from an otherwise unquestioning and unflinching Trump crony, Sean Spicer.

Spicer, who had performed a yeoman’s job in the first six months of the Trump presidency, reportedly protested Scaramucci’s appointment and ended up quitting a job that was slipping out of his hands anyway. To many, for several months now, Spicer was a dead horse in Trump’s eyes, one he regretted appointing as the WH press secretary.

Things in the Trump WH work in a treacherously horrendous manner. There is an unprecedented behavioural nuance that prevents rational thinking to make its presence felt. While Spicer played along and pushed the “alternative facts” card, it seemed as if he himself lived an alternative life.

He would show up to face the press almost every day and defended the indecisiveness, confusion, nervousness, drama and chaos that Trump has caused throughout the initial stage of his presidency. One has to agree with CNN’s assertion that,

“Spicer’s resignation caps off one of the most tumultuous tenures for a WH press secretary, one that saw Spicer repeatedly undermined in his role as the WH’s public-facing spokesman by the president’s own public statements and tweets.”

Trump doesn’t need a spokesman. He’s his own biggest mouthpiece and his tweets drive the news. Much of Spicer’s struggles were just a symptom of a disease that symbolises the Trump administration – dishonest, confusing, self-defeating and, of course, Trump’s inability to stay on message – a problem that will not only carry on but also continue to challenge and leave the Scaramucci communications staff exposed and bewildered.

People say that Scaramucci doesn’t realise what he’s gotten himself into. His newfound love for Trump may turn out to be a short-lived fling, one that will put Scaramucci right where he initially belonged, i.e. the anti-Trump camp.

Trump’s main worry is not leadership and certainly not the people of America. His concern instead centres on television ratings. While it took a Washington insider like Spicer’s ginormous guts to appear in front of the press (and sometimes not), take curve balls and defend outlandish shenanigans of his boss, his status had more or less been reduced to “a guy who cleans up the elephant poop at the circus and is proud to be in the show business”.

No matter what people think of Scaramucci – smooth, affable or whatever – Trump has put him on the podium to lie, grift and peddle his snake oil. From being a fierce opponent of the president, The Mooch, a not so much of a Washington insider, has sweet-talked his way into the WH.

However, that doesn’t mean that at a time when Trump is in the process of surrounding himself with close family, friends and loyalists on account of the Russian investigation, Scaramucci will have a smooth ride. In fact, things are going to get rougher, and just like Spicer, Scaramucci will also end up drawing daggers at the WH press corps and say goodbye to the flying kisses that he gave at the end of his introductory meeting.

It is an irony of fate that the US has elected a president who was under investigation well before he took oath of office. His problems have only compounded with the passage of time. While Robert Mueller may not have decisively sharp teeth as an independent counsel like Ken Starr, it appears that if Mueller is allowed to continue the Russian investigation and is not fired by Trump, he can cause plenty of trouble for the president.

This is one matter that’s playing on Trump’s head constantly and he wants to tackle it as soon as possible. One can feel the panic coming out from the WH in the form of (a) unusually anxiety-stricken statements made by Trump himself such as the one expressing remorse at appointing Jeff Sessions as the attorney general recently; and (b) discord and delusion amongst WH staffers.

The problem is that most of the folks in Trump’s inner sanctum have issues, serious issues of legal and ethical nature that, under ordinary set of circumstances, would’ve rocked the very foundations of a presidency. However, this is a Trump Associates WH where everything goes. It is an asylum for the most crooked and obnoxious where past blemishes are conveniently overlooked. What matters is the loyalty to the president of the Queen’s County bullies association.

While we don’t know for sure what the future holds for Scaramucci, we do know that his past, for the most part, featured glimpses of pragmatism. The guy is against guns, he’s against building walls, he condemned Trump’s idea of a Muslim ban in addition to supporting the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates as well as the Republicans who ran against Trump.

Granted that Scaramucci took down his online anti-Trump rants as soon as he took the communication director’s job, one wonders (a) what kind of scruples does he have? Did he not do any self-reflection prior to jumping on the Trump bandwagon?; and (b) why did he accept Trump’s offer if his own views are so diametrically opposed to Trump’s outrageously nasty ideals?

I don’t doubt Scaramucci’s integrity or his sense of judgment. I’m simply questioning the lameness of his desire to be a big time Washington role player in a WH administration. I’m sure he understands that he’s been called upon to do Spicer-type clean-up jobs, spruce up the administration’s image, and be the spin doctor that this administration desperately needs to protect a failing presidency.

People often said about Spicer that he looked “dead inside” and had “lost the light in his eyes”. Scaramucci clearly has his work cut out for him. He may have built a fortune wheeling and dealing on Wall Street but projecting and propagating a WH headed by Trump in a positive light may bring with it heartaches and a whole new level of anxiety and disappointments.

He may think of Reince Priebus as his brother but he doesn’t know that a surging Russian probe can leave a lot many heads rolling and that everyone fends for themselves as in this administration there’s no leader, no unifying force to gel people together or look out for their collective interests.

Scaramucci is a suave and savvy businessman who plays the TV well and is known for, just like Trump, ruthless business tactics. The rising Washington temperatures have also heated up matters within the corridors of power.

As Trump brings about changes, reshuffles the core to gear up for the battle ahead, one wonders who will be shown the door next – Sessions? Rod Rosenstein? Bob Mueller? Priebus? It could turn out to be a long list of casualties before Trump either loses gnat-like patience and decides to quit (highly unlikely) or lets some sanity prevail by stopping the spread of turmoil.

Already the departures of National Security Adviser chief, deputy chief of staff, communications director, FBI director, deputy attorney general, press secretary and VPs chief of staff in just about 180 days of this presidency’s existence have caused enough commotion.

They say Trump thrives in chaos. Sure, he does. However, let’s not forget that he’s been delegated to run a country no less than the United States of America and not one of his many failing business fiefdoms.

While one wishes Scaramucci all the best, it is hoped that he does possess a Spicer-type uprightness and is aware enough to walk away when values and principles are about to be compromised. He may soon realise that the whole ‘loyalty’ thing only works one way with Trump.

Washington needs a super heavy dose of good people. They need to work their magic to ensure that all that is critical to our existence as a nation remains intact as we move forward to unveil the faces of evil that hijacked our democracy and hacked our political system.

Ahson Saeed Hasan

Ahson Saeed Hasan

The writer is a proud American, a peacenik who has traveled well over 80 countries and lived in four continents. He likes to share his experiences and reflect on the worldly surroundings. He tweets @tweetingacho (twitter.com/tweetingacho)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Always interesting to read you …… one ting for sure, in previous administrations people like me sitting far away got to know the key players pretty fast. With the Trump administration there’s ‘ The Donald ‘ …….. and then possibly his daughter and then a void…….possibly thats how he wants to play it.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Trump was elected partly because the Democrats ran a questionable candidate who reeked of sleaze, from the pay-to-play “Clinton Foundation” (which immediately folded when HRC LOST!) to the secret email server setup designed to evade America’s Freedom of Information Act!
    America had two bad choices for president, and HRC lost even though the mainstream media colluded with her campaign during the election, a fact revealed by the many Wikileaks John Podesta emails!Recommend

  • Patwari

    Oh my! Oh my! Are you waxing poetic! Hillary was sleazy? Oh my!
    Compared to the foul mouthed, sleazebag, white supremacist Donald.?
    Who fired the FBI director because he was getting too close the truth.
    About Russian interference in US election. Who has his daughter, son in law
    as close advisors. Who has a white supremacist, former managing editor
    of a racist Alt. Right publication, Breitbart. [that pursues an agenda of America for Whites Only.]…as a top advisor. With an office in the White
    House. Same Donald whose national security advisor was fired for lying.
    Secretary of State under Dubya, [Bush Jr] Gen. Colin Powell had a private email server too. So did Condoleezza Rice [secretary of state.]
    Same Donald, whose son in law, son, campaign manager are all admitting
    to contacts with the Russians during 2016 elections. Originally they denied
    They all, including Donald, have hired big gun defense attorneys. Because bad bad mojo is coming their way in the near future.
    Donald, HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] Jared, Don Jr. are out of your league.
    It would be a good idea if you stick to ’14 consulates ‘, Modi Sarkar, Gau Raksha, Sadhvi Prachi,….Muslim lynching in Hidustan,…..etc. etc.Recommend

  • Parvez

    As an afterthought, I have a question for all those pushing for Trumps impeachment . If he get impeached I suppose it would be Mike Pence who would step into the Oval Office ……. would that rally be an improvement over Trump ? Think about it carefully. In my view it would be a case of ‘ from the frying pan into the fire ‘.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    All can look for Christopher Hitchen’s book about Team Clinton titled “No One Left to lie to” to read about sleaze!
    If you had bothered to do any research, Secretaries of State Rice and Powell used .gov email accounts for all government business to comply with the Freedom of Information act, and they both had personal email accounts as well.
    HRC NEVER had a .gov email account and did all correspondence on her home based account in violation of the Freedom of Information Act! That FACT alone caused the majority of Americans to consider her untrustworthy!
    And once again, just WHERE are those “14 Indian Consulates” located that YOU CLAIM EXIST along the Pak-Indian border???
    And once again, just where is that “very long list of Indian terrorist attacks”
    that YOU CLAIMED TO HAVE????Recommend

  • Patwari

    You don’t even know what Freedom of Information
    Act is. This act allows you ask the US govt. about info
    pertaining to any entity, classified meetings, rulings, etc
    Mostly secret or privileged information. The US govt
    may oblige you or not. They may un-classify it too.
    It all depends. The act is about releasing information
    It has nothing to do with having private email servers!
    For a hindu it will mean :-
    You can ask Modi Sarkar’s govt about the Samjhota
    Express, about what really transpired. Or about the
    Modi policy on Muslim lynching and Gau Raksha
    or the indigenous killings in Arunachal Pradesh,…etc.
    Or Hindustan’s policy on Kashmiri Genocide.
    Modi Sarkar’s thugs will beat you up if you do get the
    courage to ask the govt..So don’t ask! Just stay away.
    There is no Freedom of Information Act in Hinduland.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Had you bothered to do any research on the Freedom of Information Act, you would have noticed that all government correspondence is to be retained by the federal records act, and can be requested by individuals under the FOIA!
    HRC did not have/use a (state.gov) email account for State Department communications, nor did she turn over all State Department communications after leaving office as required by law!
    The use of a non-government email account (and never having a state.gov account) to avoid FOIA request is just another example of HRC political sleaze!
    And once again you have forgotten to tell us just WHERE those 14 Indian Consulates you claim exist on the Pak-Afghan border are located!Recommend

  • Patwari

    Yawwnnnn. Zzzzzt.Recommend