Tag Archives: communications

Montreal health agency says communications with family were ‘incomplete’ after woman found dead in ER

Montreal’s West Island health agency has admitted its communications were lacking with the family of a woman who was found dead last month on the floor of a room in the emergency department of Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire, Que. 

But the family says that’s not enough.

In a statement emailed to the media this morning, the CIUSSS de l’Ouest de l’Île de Montréal said it has asked the coroner to investigate Candida Macarine’s Feb. 27 death. 

“Although the investigation is still ongoing, the CIUSSS is already able to say that its communications with the family were incomplete, especially at the time of the announcement of the death,” the statement said.

“The CIUSSS team is obviously sorry for the concerns this caused to the family of the deceased,” it continued.

Macarine died in a negative pressure isolation room that nurses in the Montreal-area hospital had warned managers about several times, saying it was difficult to see and monitor patients there.

The day of her death, Macarine’s family was told only that she had died of cardiac arrest. 

Learned circumstances of mother’s death from news report

It wasn’t until they noticed a CBC News story two weeks later about a woman found “dead and ice cold” on the floor beside her bed that they realized that woman was likely their mother.

The family and CBC News have repeatedly requested more information from the hospital during the last two weeks.

The agency finally acknowledged Tuesday that Macarine was the patient who died, and that it had failed to report the circumstances of her death to the family.

WATCH | Placido Macarine shares how it feels to know so little about his mother’s death:

The family of a woman who died at Lakeshore General Hospital in a room that staff had warned managers about for weeks only learned about the circumstances of her death after reading a CBC story earlier this week. 2:19


The statement comes a day after the family of Filipino heritage held a tearful news conference, accusing the hospital of racism.

In an interview with CBC Tuesday, Candida Macarine’s son Emmanuel Macarine said he wasn’t impressed with the hospital’s statement.

“No, no, I’m sorry, but for me it’s not an apology,” Macarine said.

He scoffed at the hospital’s admission that its communication with the family was “incomplete.”

“Incomplete? Well I don’t know how they tried to communicate with us! Until now, we didn’t receive anything — until after the press conference yesterday,” he said.

Head of CIUSSS offers to meet with family

The health agency intends to act on recommendations from the coroner’s investigation to “ensure that such a situation does not happen again,” CIUSSS said in its statement.

“Moreover, if it is shown that our staff acted inappropriately, the CIUSSS will not hesitate to take the decisions and actions that are necessary in such situations.”

The health agency statement didn’t explain why the family was never told of the circumstances of Macarine’s death.

In an email, a spokesperson told CBC News that the agency would not comment further until the CIUSSS CEO Lynne McVey has had a chance to meet with the family.

“Lynne McVey wrote to family members yesterday and asked to meet with them to offer her support in this difficult ordeal,” the statement said.

‘Cannot trust them anymore’

Emmanuel Macarine said the family has no immediate plans to meet with McVey.

“After all the refusals to our requests to know the truth of what happened to our mom, we cannot trust them anymore,” he said. “I mean, what are they going to say now?”

Macarine said the family would prefer to deal with the coroner’s office.

He said he and some of his brothers and sisters would hold a news conference Wednesday.

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Venezuelan opposition leader seeks ‘direct communications’ with U.S. military

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says he’s instructed his political envoy in Washington to immediately open relations with the U.S. military.

Guaido said Saturday that he’s asked his ambassador Carlos Vecchio to open “direct communications” toward possible co-ordination.

Guaido is leading a campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro and is recognized by countries including Canada as Venezuela’s interim president.

In recent days, Venezuelan security forces arrested National Assembly Vice-President Edgar Zambrano, the body’s No. 2 leader. Other lawmakers also scrambled for refuge in foreign embassies amid renewed fears of a crackdown following an unsuccessful military rebellion.

Guaido says he’s keeping “all options on the table” to remove Maduro, repeating language used by U.S. President Donald Trump and his chief advisers.

Earlier this week, U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller said he would meet with Guaido when invited to discuss the future role of Venezuela’s armed forces.

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For Vehicle Safety Communications, Ford Chooses Cellular Over DSRC

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LAS VEGAS — Cellular-based safety messaging that warns cars before accidents happen is already good enough — and it will only get better. That’s the message from Ford, which this week announced at CES 2019 it will use the C-V2X, or cellular-vehicle-to-everything, protocol as the way for cars to signal other cars (V2C), as well as the infrastructure (V2I) and even pedestrians with next-gen smartphones (maybe call it V2Jaywalker).

Other automakers are either taking a wait-and-see approach or supporting an earlier proposal for a standalone in-car comms radio via the dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) protocol. Both C-V2X and DSRC fall under the umbrella category of vehicle-to-everything communications devices.

Ford graphic shows how cars and traffic lights interact with each other and the traffic C-V2X (yellow car, pickup truck) while the red car uses legacy technology (driver’s eyeballs) to track the traffic light.

What makes C-V2X interesting is that the technology, still not on the road except in test cars, doesn’t need to pass its signal through the cellular network when talking to nearby devices. C-V2X can communicate vehicle-to-vehicle or to vehicle-to-nearby infrastructure devices such as traffic lights, stops, or road construction signs without the potential latency (delay) of working its way through the cellular phone structure. That was the big rap on C-V2X in the past: too slow to be safe, some feared.

Another advantage if the industry goes with C-V2X module is that you don’t need two devices in the car, which might be the case early on if the telematics packaging can’t also fit the DSRC radio chip. Automakers believe that by the early 2020s, the majority of cars will be equipped with telematics systems such as GM’s OnStar or Ford’s Sync Connect because buyers want Wi-Fi in the car, video streaming, and half-dozen or more Wi-Fi device connections.

Ford’s Plan: C-V2X Can Roll Out With 5G Cellular

Ford’s plan was laid out in a Monday blog post by Don Butler, Ford’s executive director for the connected vehicle platform. Butler said in part:

C-V2X is a wireless communication technology that can “talk” to and “listen” for similarly equipped vehicles, people and traffic management infrastructure such as traffic lights to relay important information and help make city mobility safer and less congested. Planned alongside the rapidly building 5G cellular network, C-V2X enables direct communication between the connected devices, meaning a signal doesn’t need to first travel to a cellular tower, allowing vehicles to quickly send and receive information. Ultimately, it lets drivers know what’s ahead of them even before they have to encounter it. …

With plans to roll out 5G cellular networks underway, C-V2X can complement the sensors of self-driving cars. While these vehicles will be fully capable of operating without C-V2X, the technology could add to its comprehensive view from the LiDAR, radar and camera sensors. For instance, if emergency vehicles were equipped with C-V2X transmitters, they could notify self-driving vehicles that may be on their route so the vehicles pull over or reroute in plenty of time. Self-driving vehicles could even get real-time updates on road conditions that affect their routes.

Many of the points Butler laid out in favor of C-V2X are also points in favor of any form of vehicle to vehicle communication, whether it’s cellular C-V2X or separate radio DSRC.

Intel’s onboard telematics module has a C-V2X chip (upper right). But it could be modified to support DSRC signally (as well as cellular telematics.

Where Other Automakers, Governments Stand

Toyota has been a supporter of DSRC with the technology embedded in some home-market vehicles about three years ago. Last spring Toyota announced plans to put DSRC in its lineup starting in 2021. GM put DSRC in its Cadillac CT6 along with its Super Cruise Level 3 self-driving technology; DSRC let the CT6s talk to other cars with DSRC such as … other CT6s, mostly. Now GM is taking a look at C-V2X.

Nissan, which is moving ahead with its broad theme of Intelligent Mobility, will continue to study the pros and cons of C-V2X and DSRC, according to Toshiro Muramatsu, deputy general manager of Nissan’s telematics engineering group. Muramatsu says Nissan is prepared to deliver different solutions for different parts of the world, depending on local demand.

Harman’s cellular telematics and V2X module.

Japan, Korean and the US are actively involved in testing V2X technologies. (Separately, China is actively involved in V2I communications, especially for top-down communications: Traffic lights telling motorists to prepare to stop.) The US government in the past has expressed a preference for DSRC. That was when cellular traffic safety communications, even car-to-car messages, were routed through the cellular infrastructure and crucial messages had the potential to be delayed.

Harman, one of the major automotive electronics suppliers (now part of Samsung), has a single-box solution for 5G cellular communications and V2X that could be in on-sale cars circa 2021-22, says Vishnu GS, VP of the Harman telematics business unit. But if parts of the world swing towards DSRC, one chip can be swapped out and the same module is now 5G telematics and a DSRC radio. Harman also has a solution to integrate every one of the car’s antennas into a single module that fits under the car’s roof — no projections — and would need only a plastic covering over the integrated antennas.

V2X technology will come down in cost, enough so the price of the car will go up, perhaps $ 100-$ 250, or not enough to stop buyers from buying. That’s the hope. Both technologies will have to deal with privacy concerns, although they use public key cryptography for safety. Both will have to deal with issues of the V2X module not being fully sealed off from the non-safety domain, and with it concerns the car’s drivetrain or steering could theoretically be hacked.

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Trump aide Hope Hicks resigning as White House communications director

Hope Hicks, one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s longest-serving aides, is resigning from her job as White House communications director, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday.

Sanders told reporters the timeline for Hicks’s departure was unclear. She said her resignation was not related to her testimony to a congressional committee on Tuesday about a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

She is expected to leave in the next few weeks.

Hicks, 29, was caught up in a controversy surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, whom she had been dating. She worked to defend him when he faced allegations of domestic abuse against his two former wives. Porter was ultimately forced to resign.

She was one of the first people hired by then-businessman Trump when he began his campaign for the presidency, and is one of his most trusted advisers. Aides said she had approached the president and told him she wanted to leave so she could start exploring opportunities outside the White House.

Campaign 2016 Trump

Hicks was one of the first people hired by then-businessman Trump when he began his campaign for the presidency and was his campaign spokesperson. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “I will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future.”

On Tuesday, Hicks declined to answer questions about the administration from members of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee investigating Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, lawmakers said. Hicks was Trump’s spokesperson during the campaign.


Hicks took over as communications director in September and is credited behind the scenes for stabilizing the communications operation. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a statement of Hicks: “To say that she will be missed is an understatement.”

Hicks took over as communications director in September after the short, difficult tenure of Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired. She is credited behind the scenes for stabilizing the communications operation.

Hicks said in a statement: “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump. I wish the president and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.”

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How Hope Hicks, Trump's new press-shy communications director, became a White House 'survivor'

She’s a top presidential adviser but a political neophyte. A public relations strategist who shirks publicity. A former model and actress described as camera-shy.

Contradictions abound when it comes to Hope Hicks, the new White House communications director. Case in point: her low-key persona is credited for landing her one of the highest-ranking jobs in the executive mansion.

As the fourth person to assume what’s been described as a “mission impossible” posting in U.S. President Donald Trump’s tumultuous White House, her appointment last week would seem improbable in any other administration.

Yet the daughter of an NFL executive and Democratic legislative aide from Greenwich, Conn., now occupies a desk just outside the Oval Office, devising strategy for the Trump messaging apparatus. Hicks — at 28, the youngest person to assume the communications director role — accepted her promotion in her usual way.


‘She’s been loyal’

It apparently works for her. Hicks is Trump’s longest-standing political aide, serving him since 2014, when she was plucked from doing PR for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line to help run his campaign.

“People, unfairly, will say Donald Trump just likes her because she’s beautiful,” former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg told CBC News in a phone interview from New York.

Though he says he’s “not her friend,” Nunberg understands her appeal. “Hope has the president’s confidence, she’s been loyal, and she understands how to sell this president.”


Hicks and Trump speak on the golf course at his Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, on June 25, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Hicks has outlasted three ex-White House comms directors — Sean Spicer (gone after six months), Mike Dubke (three months) and Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci (10 days). How she achieved this position despite being seldom seen or heard from is kind of the point, Nunberg said.

“She’s cognizant it’s not about her. It’s about Donald Trump,” he said. “She’s focused on her job and not promoting herself. That’s definitely an asset for the president.”

Drawing too much attention away from Trump can be a career death knell in his White House. Former chief strategist Steve Bannon made the cover of Time magazine before his exit. Scaramucci’s brash manner and penchant for letting off steam with reporters also preceded his demise. He was fired after a profanity-laced interview in the New Yorker.

Hicks is “neither Bannon nor the Mooch. She’s the public relations counsellor who stays out of the limelight,” said Fraser Seitel, a New York University PR instructor and author of The Practice of Public Relations.

“But the president’s problem is he thinks he’s his own best PR man. Actually, he’s his worst PR man, so the deck is stacked way against her to begin with,” Seitel said.

‘The Hopester’

Hicks, whom the president affectionately calls “the Hopester,” avoids televised interviews. Journalists are accustomed to her habit of leaving emails unanswered from when she ran the press shop during Trump’s presidential campaign.

She graduated in 2010 from Southern Methodist University, where she played lacrosse and majored in English. By a twist of fate, her first PR job came by way of actor Alec Baldwin, who now savagely lampoons her boss on Saturday Night Live. In an acting audition, Hicks once read for a part with Baldwin, who later helped her secure an interview at Hiltzik Strategies, the firm that put her in the Trump Organization’s orbit.

Trump told a crowd in December that when he hired Hicks for his campaign, she “knew nothing” about politics. At his final rally during his 2016 victory tour, Trump beckoned Hicks to take the stage.

“You know, she’s a little shy, but that’s OK,” he said, imploring her to “say a couple of words.”

“Hi,” she said, a tremor in her voice. “Merry Christmas, everyone — and thank you, Donald Trump!”

She exited quickly.

As Trump’s comms director, Hicks controls long-range planning and big-picture messaging. If she follows tradition, she’ll be the behind-the-scenes staffer giving final approval over speeches and vetting fact papers. Working with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, she’ll be a gatekeeper for all reporters wanting access to the president, though Hicks won’t be nearly so visible.

“Think of comms director as ‘product development’ and press secretary as ‘retail sales,'” explained Mike McCurry, the former White House press secretary for president Bill Clinton.

‘Walking into a minefield’

Crucially, Hicks will also need to ensure the president stays on message. And that will be a heavy lift, say PR specialists who are watching how her duties jibe with Trump’s off-the-cuff manner.

She came on board in an interim capacity a day after Trump veered wildly off script and blamed “both sides” for violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, white-supremacist rally. The president was supposed to be promoting his infrastructure plan.

Hicks, who has no known Twitter presence, is “walking into a minefield” with this position, warns public relations expert David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision.

Hope Hicks Ivanka

Hicks is shown in a screen grab from Ivanka Trump’s fashion website from 2015, when she was director of communications for the Trump Organization. A ‘typical workday’ for Hicks, the text reads, ‘could include a major meeting, an all-day event or even an out-of-state trip.’ (Screengrab)

“Right now, no one knows what the White House communications strategy is because it fluctuates from day to day based on the president’s Twitter account,” Johnson said.

Unlike the revolving door of White House personnel who may feel like hired hands, Johnson said Hicks’s experience in the Trump Organization gives her clout with the president.

“She’s a survivor,” he said. “Someone more keyed into how Trump operates. That’s her expertise.”

“The president trusts her,” says Don Baer, who once held the same job Hicks now fills, only in the Clinton White House.

“In this position, she’ll also need to be an honest broker,” Baer added, the kind of staffer willing to challenge the president and compel him to speak when he needs to or have restraint when it’s called for.

A test came last week, when top congressional Democrats issued a statement saying Trump had agreed to a deal to help thousands of undocumented immigrants stay in America and possibly forsake his long-promised border wall. The statement went unanswered by Trump for eight hours, leaving his base fuming until he later disputed parts of it.

Nunberg, the former Trump campaign adviser, sees more positive signs. The daily televised White House press briefings have returned under Hicks’s watch. And he hears that Trump surrogates are being contacted more regularly “in a more professional and helpful manner.”

As for how Hicks views the challenges ahead for her communications duties, that’s hard to know. She did not respond to requests for an interview.

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NASA Beefs Up Space Communications with New Satellite Launch

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Have you ever wondered how data and communication signals get from spacecraft to NASA mission control on Earth? It’s not as simple as pointing an antenna at NASA and hitting “send.” Earth rotates, so you might not always have direct line of sight to mission control. That’s why NASA started deploying a fleet of Space Network satellites in the 1980s. It’s now into the third generation of these satellites, and a new one has just headed into space where it will relay data from the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope. It may be the last one, though.

NASA launched the first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) in 1983 aboard a Space Shuttle. That was TDRS-A (renamed to TDRS-1 in orbit), and we’re now up to TDRS-M. NASA continued sending the TDRS satellites up aboard shuttles until the early 2000s when the program switched to much cheaper Atlas rockets. That’s also when the second-generation TDRS satellites were deployed with vastly improved capabilities like tri-band communications and autonomous anomaly recovery.

TDRS-M is part of the third-generation TDRS fleet — when it officially enters operation, it will be renamed TDRS-13. It was launched early on August 18th aboard an Atlas V rocket operated by United Launch Alliance. The satellite is heading up to a geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of 22,300 miles (35,800 kilometers), allowing NASA to enhance the network coverage.

Third generation TDRS satellites are mostly the same as the second-gen that began launching in the early 2000s. The one notable difference is support for multiple-access beamforming on the ground. This is similar to technology in Wi-Fi routers that focus signals where they are needed to increase throughput. All satellites in the TDRS network beam signals down to a number of tracking stations on the surface in places like Guam and the South Pole.

There are currently four functional first-gen TDRS satellites, but two other satellites were retired several years ago and de-orbited. There was also a TDRS satellite aboard the Challenger Shuttle when it exploded during liftoff. All three satellites from the second generation are still operational, and now there are three third-gen satellites. That works out to ten total TDRS satellites in operation. Or rather, it will be ten once TDRS-M is fully online and becomes TDRS-13.

NASA says this satellite will be vital to the future of its space communications. Even if no new satellites are launched, TDRS-M should keep the space network operational through at least the mid-2020s. TDRS-M is the last third-gen satellite planned, and the agency may not have to launch more. The hope is commercial space communication networks will be online by the time the TDRS is retired.

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Anthony Scaramucci out as Trump's communications director

U.S. President Donald Trump’s communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, is leaving the job after just 10 days, the White House said Monday, in the latest staff upheaval to hit the Republican’s six-month-old presidency.

News of Scaramucci’s removal came hours after Trump swore in a new chief of staff, retired general John Kelly. The New York Times and Politico reported the dismissal came at Kelly’s request, citing two unidentified White House officials.

The White House confirmed that Scaramucci was leaving his role as communications director in a statement saying, “Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best.”

‘Inappropriate’ comments

Scaramucci has been in the spotlight since he was first announced as communications director 10 days ago.

The New Yorker magazine published an interview Thursday in which Scaramucci went on a profanity-laden tirade against Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff at the time. A day later, Priebus resigned and was replaced by Kelly. Scaramucci was also said to be the reason White House spokesperson Sean Spicer left, handing in his resignation the same day Scaramucci was appointed.


Shortly before Kelly was sworn in early Monday, Trump insisted on Twitter that his administration was not beset by chaos, as some media have suggested. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters )

In a briefing Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on whether Scaramucci was asked to leave or resigned voluntarily.

“The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for someone in that position, and he [the president] didn’t want to burden Gen. Kelly with that line of succession.”

She said that Scaramucci “does not have a role at this time in the Trump administration.”

Scaramucci’s departure follows a rocky couple of weeks in Trump’s presidency, with the loss of two key staffers and the failure in Congress of Trump’s promised health-care overhaul.

Earlier Monday, Trump hit back at reports that his White House was in chaos.

“Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!” he said on Twitter.

In another blow to Scaramucci Monday, Harvard Law School apologized for erroneously listing him as dead in a new alumni directory. 

Scaramucci is a 1989 graduate of the Cambridge, Mass., school. A directory mailed to alumni this week included an asterisk by his name indicating he had died.

In a statement, the law school apologized for the error and said it will be corrected in future editions of the directory, which is published every five years. It didn’t provide an explanation for the error. 

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Sean Spicer quits after Trump taps financier to head White House communications

White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned Friday, ending a rocky six-month tenure that made his news briefings defending U.S. President Donald Trump must-see TV.

He said Trump’s communications team “could benefit from a clean slate” as the White House seeks to steady operations amid the Russia investigations and ahead of a health-care showdown.

Spicer quit in protest over the hiring of a new White House communications director, New York financier Anthony Scaramucci, objecting to what Spicer considered his lack of qualifications as well as the direction of the press operation, according to people familiar with the situation.

Scaramucci, a polished television commentator and Harvard Law graduate, quickly took centre stage at a briefing, parrying questions from reporters and commending Trump in a 37-minute charm offensive.

As his first act on the job, Scaramucci announced that Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be the new press secretary. She had been Spicer’s deputy.

Scaramucci will start next month. The Republican fundraiser and founder of Skybridge Capital has most recently worked at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He was earlier offered the post of U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. 

Spicer said on social media that he will stay on until August, and that it had been an honour and privilege to serve the president. He had been serving as both communications director and press secretary following the departure of communications director Michael Dubke, who resigned in May. 

“I am grateful for Sean’s work on behalf of my administration and the American people,” a statement from Trump read. “I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities.”

According to a report in the New York Times, Spicer strongly objected to Scaramucci’s appointment, saying it was a major mistake. 

Spicer gave no indication of conflict during a brief phone conversation with The Associated Press following his announced departure.

He said he felt it would be best for Scaramucci to be able to build his own operation “and chart a new way forward.”

Spicer said of Scaramucci’s hiring: “It’ll be great, he’s a tough guy.”

Scaramucci for his part praised Spicer and said there was no friction with the departing press secretary or chief of staff Reince Priebus, contrary to some press reports.

Spicer’s daily press briefings had become must-see television until recent weeks, when he took on a more behind-the-scenes role. Sanders has largely taken over the briefings, turning them into an off-camera event.

Trump’s statement praised Spicer’s “great television ratings.”

Scaramucci’s appointment comes as the White House deals with questions around a special counsel probe and several congressional investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential collusion with Trump’s campaign.

‘The ship is going in the right direction’

At a press briefing Friday with Sanders, Scaramucci, 53, raved about Trump’s political instincts at the podium and took exception to the characterization that the administration has been dysfunctional.

“The ship is going in the right direction, we’ve just got to radio signal the direction very, very clearly,” he said.

Scaramucci said Trump is doing a phenomenal job and that he’ll work with the rest of the White House communications team to get that message “out there a little more aggressively.”

He called Spicer “a true American patriot” and said he hopes Spicer “goes on to make a tremendous amount of money.”

Scaramucci predicted the administration would be able to push through desired health-care and tax code reforms, despite stalled momentum in Congress on the health-care file.

He was non-committal as to whether more press briefings would be back on camera, as has been custom in recent years.

After answering a range of questions, Scaramucci blew a kiss and waved to journalists before leaving the briefing room.

Trump Communications

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has handled most of the media briefings of late, will be the new White House press secretary. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Scaramucci was one of the people named in a recent CNN story, which the network later retracted. The story said Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.” 

He disputed the story, insisting he did nothing wrong. Three CNN journalists resigned and the network also apologized to him, adding the piece “did not meet CNN’s editorial standards.” 

Spicer spent several years leading communications at the Republican National Committee (RNC) before helping Trump’s campaign in the general election. He is close to White House chief of staff Priebus, the former RNC chair, and several of the lower-ranking aides in the White House communications shop.

VIDEO: Sean Spicer moments1:27

But his tenure got off to a rocky start.

On Trump’s first full day in office, Spicer lambasted journalists over coverage of the crowd size at the inauguration and stormed out of the briefing room without answering questions.

He also endured other moments of teasing from the press, including stumbling over the name of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and comparing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler.

His fiery demeanour and tense on-camera exchanges were mocked on Saturday Night Live, with the role of Spicer being played by actress Melissa McCarthy.

Spicer becomes the latest departure amid a number of resignations and firings in the first six months of the Trump administration. They include acting attorney general Sally Yates, national security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI director James Comey, vice-president chief of staff Josh Pitcock and Walter Shaub, the head of the office on government ethics, who resigned earlier this month and has gone public with concerns that Trump may be personally profiting from the presidency.

In addition, Trump expressed his displeasure with Jeff Sessions in an interview earlier this week, but the attorney general said the following day he would continue to serve “as long as that is appropriate.”

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