New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci publicly revealed attacking personal opinions of other Trump staffers without holding much back, The New York Timesreports. On Wednesday night, Scaramucci harshly divulged on a phone call with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza that he was facing conflict with chief of staff Reince Priebus. His remarks led to him addressing the phone call on CNN Thursday morning and Lizza creating an entire New Yorker piece discussing the conversation by Thursday evening.
“Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly,” Scaramucci revealed to Lizza on Wednesday night. The communications director contacted Lizza after the writer tweeted that Scaramucci was having dinner with President Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and a former Fox News executive. Scaramucci was intent on finding out who Lizza’s source was. “Reince is a f***ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
Lizza revealed in his New Yorker article that Scaramucci threatened to fire the entire White House communications staff when he refused to tell the director who told him about dinner with the Trumps.
“I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” Scaramucci said, as quoted by Lizza. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”
Scaramucci also spoke against chief strategist Steve Bannon, exclaiming about him, “I’m not Steve Bannon...I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f***ing strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
Sharing such negative opinions of the other men isn’t too surprising of Scaramucci, as Priebus and Bannon did not approve of his appointment to communications director. When he phoned into CNN to discuss his exchange with Lizza, Scaramucci asked Priebus to deny “being a leaker.” When a story including his financial disclosure form hit Politico earlier this week, Scaramucci inserted Priebus’s Twitter handle in a tweet calling the form’s presence a “felony,” suggesting that he thought Priebus was to blame for the form’s leaking. However, calling out Priebus was pretty unnecessary—the story’s reporter later explained the form was publicly available.
— Lorraine (@Woellert) July 27, 2017
According to Lizza, Scaramucci changed his explanation for calling out Priebus to wanting to “work together with Priebus to discover the leakers.” “He’s the chief of staff, he’s responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the White House, which is why I put that tweet out last night,” he shared on CNN.
He later tried to explain his behavior with a tweet defending his use of "colorful language" in the phone conversation.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 27, 2017
Lizza’s piece includes even crazier quotes from the pair’s conversation, which basically provides insight into how tense White House staff relations currently are. Scaramucci subtly responded to Lizza's work with yet another tweet on Thursday night.
I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 28, 2017
If you want a summary of how this White House administration seems to work, take a look at one of Scaramucci’s quotes from his phone call with Lizza:
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) July 27, 2017