Port Washington native named WH communications director; Spicer resigns

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WASHINGTON -

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday after President Donald Trump hired a Port Washington native as his new communications director.

Trump tapped New York financier Anthony Scaramucci to serve as White House communications director. Spicer had previously been handling both roles.

Spicer's six-month tenure as Trump's spokesperson had been a rocky one. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had recently been handling much of the briefing responsibilities. Scaramucci announced Friday that Sanders would be the new press secretary.

Spicer will continue to serve the administration through August. In regard to his resignation, Spicer said the White House was at a point where Trump "could benefit from a clean slate."

AP sources said Spicer quit in protest over Scaramucci's hiring. Spicer reportedly objected to what he felt was Scaramucci's lack of qualifications. Those sources said the decision to quit was sudden and took advisers inside and outside the White House by surprise.

But Scaramucci Friday seemed enthusiastic about his new job.

"I was in the Oval Office with him (President Trump) earlier today, and we were talking about letting him be himself, letting him express his full identity," Scaramucci said. "I think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world — and perhaps in history."

Scaramucci grew up in Port Washington and attended Paul D. Schreiber High School. He went on to graduate from Harvard Law School and made a fortune working in New York finance.

Port Washington residents News 12 spoke with were split about having a local man working in the West Wing.

"I think he's sort of in a fundamentally compromised position, because if he's spreading the word of Donald Trump, then he's spreading the word of dishonesty," says Dean Chiungos.

Deborah Paddison, another local resident, had a softer take.

"Donald Trump is a very impressive, shrewd businessman, and he has great expectations of everyone who works under his wing," she says. "I'm sure."

AP wires contributed to this report. 

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