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Quick Stints and Worn Out Welcomes: The Shortest-Serving Presidential Staff

March 13, 2018 in History

By History Staff

White House Communications Director John Koehler. (Credit: Dennis Cook/AP Photo)

Sure, Rex Tillerson’s 13-and-a-half-month tenure as Secretary of State was kind of short. But he’s not the first top White House official to be kicked out early, especially in Donald Trump’s administration, which lost National Security Advisor Michael Flynn within the first month. Below are the White House employees with the shortest tenures in history. 

The quickest ouster of a communications director was less than one week.

In 1987, John O. Koehler resigned from his position as Ronald Reagan’s communications director after barely a week on the job. Just before he started, NBC News had reported that the German-born appointee was a member of Jungvolk, the Hitler Youth program, when he was 10 years old.

White House Communications Director John Koehler. (Credit: Dennis Cook/AP Photo)

The news soon became a public scandal with conflicting accounts. Koehler said he’d already told the White House about this during his security clearance, the White House asserted that it hadn’t known, and Reagan blamed his wife Nancy for a supposed oversight in his background check. Koehler began his post on Sunday, March 1 and was asked to resign on Saturday, March 7. However, his last official day in office was Friday, March 13, meaning he served 13 days.

The shortest term served for a communications director was less than two weeks.

Koehler may have had the shortest period between beginning his job and getting the boot, but Anthony Scaramucci narrowly beat him in terms of actual time served. The Trump administration forced Scaramucci out just 11 days after he started as communications director (the same position as Koehler’s), with his termination effective immediately.

Scaramucci was a polarizing figure from the very beginning of his tenure, which spanned from July 21, 2017 to July 31, 2017. One of the major factors in his downfall was an impromptu phone call he made to former New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza, during which Scaramucci threatened to fire his whole staff and made a colorful comment about White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (less than a month later, Bannon also resigned<span …read more

Source: HISTORY

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