Anthony Scaramucci: White House morale 'terrible,' more will leave

Ron Sachs-Pool  Getty Images

Ron Sachs-Pool Getty Images

"I miss every one of you every day", Kelly said, rolling his eyes as the audience laughed.

Scaramucci claims Kelly has kept him from seeing the president both at the White House and at January's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he has been trying to get Trump's ear over his deal to sell his holdings in hedge fund management firm SkyBridge Capital to a Chinese conglomerate, the HNA Group. Kelly said Porter was a well-respected member of Trump's team and the allegations left the staff shaken.

White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday echoed previous Trump administration comments by admitting that the White House could have better handled the allegations of domestic abuse against former aide Rob Porter.

"We put out a statement of support for him and an hour later now find out there's a second report - still not in the press, still no pictures - just an inquiry by someone probably in this room that said 'Hey, his first wife of 15 years ago says that there was physical abuse, ' " Kelly said. "I talked to Rob again to make sure he knew he had resigned".

Revelations that Porter had access to classified information despite the accusations against him prompted a review of security procedures within the White House.

Scaramucci said it was ultimately up to Trump to decide what to do, but warned that if Kelly stayed there would be "more departures".

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Kelly released a statement that evening defending and heaping praise on Porter shortly after the first story concerning the abuse allegations was published by the Daily Mail.

There has been speculation at times since Kelly's taken on the role that he would be fired or replaced, but told CNN during the event that things at the White House were "pretty good". Hicks announced this week that she would soon be leaving the White House. "I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition".

He is now reportedly considering candidates to succeed Hope Hicks as White House communications director.

"Let's see what he says about that", Mr Scaramucci said.

"The man we all knew, it was an absolute shock", Kelly said.

The issue of clearances would ultimately engulf the White House, leading to - according to other sources - Jared Kushner having his clearance downgraded.

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