Graphic by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer
On Monday President Donald Trump fired Anthony Scaramucci from his position as the White House communications director.
On Friday, Scaramucci publically scolded members of the president’s senior staff in a message filled with profanity asking them to stop “leaking information” to the press.
In a press conference on Monday the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team.”
Kelly replaced Reince Priebus and began his first day in charge of the staff on Monday. According to The New York Times, Kelly told aides gathered in early-morning staff meetings that he intended to impose a new sense of order and operational discipline that had been absent under his predecessor.
The removal comes just 10 days after Scaramucci was hired. The hiring of Scaramucci was proceeded by the departures of former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Priebus.
Hours before the announcement early Monday morning, Trump took to his preferred social media, Twitter, where he said, “No WH chaos!”
Spicer resigned the day Scaramucci was hired and Preibus stepped down just a few days after, which according to The New York Times, was because of the style of communication he used.
Suffolk County Speech
On Friday, Trump gave a speech to a room full of law enforcement officials in Brentwood, New York that was originally focused on the street gang La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13.
With a packed house and a slew of police officers behind him, Trump ripped off an iconic joke from comedian Jerry Seinfeld when referring to police treatment of suspects. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put your hand over. I said, you can take the hand away, O.K.”
The comment drew a noticeable cheer from the crowd and many of the officers behind him clapped afterwards. Trump went on to tell attendees “Please don’t be too nice” to suspects, implying that force and mistreatment of suspects was fine by him.
From coast to coast, law enforcement officials and organizations immediately began to distance themselves from Trump’s comments. The Suffolk County Police Department, which had several officers in attendance, said on Twitter just two hours after the speech by Trump, “As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.”
The Los Angeles Police Department, New Orleans Police Department, International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Foundation and Steve Soboroff, one of the commissioners of the Los Angeles Police Department, all made statements or gave interviews denouncing the statements made by Trump.
One of the reactions that drew the most attention was a Twitter post by Gainesville Florida Police Department spokesman and helicopter pilot Ben Tobias. Following Trump’s speech Tobias tweeted, “I’m a cop. I do not agree with or condone @POTUS remarks today on police brutality. Those that applauded and cheered should be ashamed.” At the time of publication the tweet had more than 336,000 likes, 110,000 retweets and 8,800 comments.
Trump has not made any formal statement in response to his comments.