Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s former communications director, is on a list of people blocked from entering the White House without special approval.
A day after saying he wasn’t blocked, a White House official confirmed that Scaramucci is indeed among fired officials excluded from the campus. The acknowledgment came after the financier provided to Bloomberg News official White House correspondence that confirmed he was denied an appointment.
Scaramucci is among a group of former staffers who left “under adverse circumstances” placed on an “administrative exclusion list,” the White House said in response to Bloomberg’s questions. Those former employees must have any appointments on the premises “evaluated on a case by case basis.”
Scaramucci provided emails indicating he had been denied access to the complex to counter a White House official’s assertion Thursday that his claim of being blacklisted from the building was false. At the time, the official – who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters – said Scaramucci was treated the same as any former staffer and would be granted access if he had legitimate, official business.
When an aide on Feb. 6 tried to get Scaramucci into the building, the Secret Service agent in charge of the appointment-scheduling system emailed that Scaramucci is “administratively excluded from entering the complex at this time (not allowed access).” The agent referred questions to White House Management and Administration staffer Monica Block.
Another message shows that when the aide asked Block about access for Scaramucci, Block said only White House Chief of Staff John Kelly or Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin could override Scaramucci’s exclusion.
The former communications adviser believes Kelly is blocking his access to the president. Scaramucci called for the chief of staff’s resignation last month after disclosures that former staff secretary Rob Porter kept his job with access to top-secret information despite a background investigation that revealed allegations of domestic abuse by two of Porter’s ex-wives.
But while the White House now acknowledges that Scaramucci, who departed the administration after a rocky tenure lasting less than two weeks, cannot access the complex without special approval, the official said he wasn’t specifically targeted.
Anyone who failed a background check, was fired, or was asked to resign faces the same restrictions, and a similar “administrative exclusion list” existed in the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, the White House official said.
The official said the White House counsel’s office manages the exclusion list and adds all employees who are fired.
The dispute over access to the White House comes as Scaramucci has renewed his offensive against Kelly following a chaotic week that included the resignation of Hope Hicks, a longtime Trump loyalist who now holds the communications director position.
“Does the president want to lose everyone because of General Jackass?” Scaramucci said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg News, warning there would be “a further evacuation of talent.”
Kelly on Friday defended his handling of the Porter scandal in a discussion with reporters, saying he had obtained a resignation from the former aide within hours of learning of the abuse allegations and tightened access to classified material at the White House. Kelly did acknowledge a “disconnect” at the White House in evaluating Porter’s background check and a “mix-up” in issuing a public statement supportive of the former staff secretary despite the allegations.
“We didn’t cover ourselves in glory in terms of how we handled that,” Kelly said.