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Scaramucci fired as White House communications boss as Trump denies chaos

Anthony Scaramucci was ignominiously sacked as White House communications director after less than two weeks just hours after Donald Trump's new chief of staff began work.

John Kelly showed his intention of taking charge after moving from homeland security, ousting the profanity-spouting Wall Street operator.

Despite the turmoil, the president tweeted: "A great day at the White House!"

He had earlier tweeted: "Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!"

Mr K elly showed Mr Scaramucci the door just days after he had unleashed an expletive-laced tirade against senior staff members that included vulgar broadsides at then-chief of staff Reince Priebus.

In short order, Mr Priebus was pushed aside and replaced by Mr Kelly, whose arrival led in turn to Mr Scaramucci's departure.

Mr Scaramucci's exit underscored the challenges that Mr Kelly faces in bringing order to the West Wing, where b ackstabbing among aides has been rife, and rival camps have jockeyed for position.

On Mr Kelly's first day, the White House put out word that the retired four-star general had free rein to tighten the chain of command.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr Kelly "has the full authority to carry out business as he sees fit".

She said all White House staffers will report to him, including powerful figures such as Mr Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Mr Kelly "will bring new structure, discipline and strength" to the White House, she said.

The chief of staff took his oath of office early on Monday in an Oval Office ceremony thronged by senior staffers, including Mr Scaramucci, but a short time later, Mr Kelly told the communications director he was out.

In the brief, cold words of the White House announcement, Mr Scaramucci was leaving because he "felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team". The three-sentence release concluded: "We wish him all the best."

The statement revived the "clean slate" language that former White House press secretary Sean Spicer had used to describe his own reason for resigning on the day Mr Trump brought Mr Scaramucci aboard.

Mr Scaramucci was escorted from the White House grounds, becoming yet another high-ranking official to leave an administration that is barely beyond the six-month mark. He was the third person to hold the communications director title in that time.

Mr Priebus was never able to prevent Mr Trump from continuing the same disorderly style he had created in his business.

Mr Scaramucci had been blocked from joining the administration during the transition by Mr Priebus, only to eventually be hired by Mr Trump last week.

That decision, over the objections of Mr Priebus and Mr Bannon, led to the resignation of Mr Spicer and fuelled Mr Scaramucci's profane vows of vengeance against White House staffers who had opposed him or leaked to the press.

Days of negative news coverage of Mr Scaramucci's crass rant did not sit well with the president, though Mr Trump himself is no stranger to using coarse language, including boasts of groping women in a 2005 Access Hollywood tape leaked last year.

"The president certainly felt that Anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person in his position," Ms Sanders said when asked about the sacking.

She said he would not have another position in the administration.

Mr Bannon also told allies that the communications director was a negative distraction. And though Mr Bannon had clashed with Mr Kelly over the implementation of Mr Trump's first travel ban, he pledged to work closely with the new chief of staff.

As the Scaramucci news spread, Mr Kelly was in the East Room, smiling and taking pictures with guests who had gathered for a Medal of Honour presentation.

A jovial Ms Spicer also was in attendance, saying he was there to assist with the communications transition, though Ms Sanders said she was not aware of any plans for him to resume his old job.

After swearing in Mr Kelly, Mr Trump convened his full Cabinet, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the target of recent public rebukes from the president.

Mr Trump ignored the turmoil and declared that his administration was humming along smoothly.

"Overall, I think we're doing incredibly well. The economy is doing incredibly well, and many other things."

AP

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