Another day, two White House shake-ups.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned Friday morning after President Trump made clear his intent to hire former hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci as his next communications director. Spicer, who felt he was being layered-over by someone unqualified for the job, announced he was quitting as a result. Scaramucci, a Trump defender on television and Twitter, had been considered for several other White House posts—and his hiring for this one was initially opposed by chief strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. While disappointed, neither is expected to follow Spicer out the door–and Priebus and Scaramucci have a long history together, going back to the former’s days as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Trump also shook-up his legal team late Thursday, demoting Marc Kasowitz from the post of his lead attorney and having the spokesman for his response to the Russia probe, Mark Corallo, resign. Corallo, a widely-respected communicator, had grown frustrated with the White House and Trump’s public statements on the investigation against the advice of counsel. The remaining legal team is now plotting how to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the President’s top aides.
Trump looks at pardons. Sessions isn’t going anywhere. And McCain says he’ll be back.
Here are your must reads:
Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary
Over Anthony Scaramucci hire [TIME]
Trump Team Seeks to Control, Block Mueller’s Russia Investigation
Looking to undercut the investigation, exploring pardon power [Washington Post]
Trump Legal Team Looking to Investigate Mueller Aides
Evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team [Associated Press]
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
Special counsel examines dealings of Kushner, Manafort, Trump [Bloomberg]
Trump Reshuffling Legal Team
Spokesman quits, lead-lawyer demoted [CNN]
Sessions Won’t Resign for Now, But Gets Trump’s Message
The president’s decision to criticize his attorney general to the New York Times was intended to communicate his lingering fury [Politico]
“I think that the President — the point he’s trying to make is that the clear purpose of the Russia investigation is to review Russia’s meddling in the election, and that that should be the focus of the investigation. Nothing beyond that.” — White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders asked Thursday whether Trump would object to special counsel Robert Mueller expanding his investigation to Trump’s finances
“As the President said yesterday, he was disappointed in the Attorney General Session’s decision to recuse himself. But clearly he has confidence in him, or he would not be the Attorney General.” —Sanders on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Bits and Bites
Is Everyone in Politics Writing a Tell-all? Yes [New York Times]
President Trump’s FBI Pick Just Cleared This Major Hurdle [Associated Press]