Newly installed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci called into CNN Thursday morning in a combative interview with Chris Cuomo. He railed on leaks from the White House, fellow members of the Trump administration, and Russia. Here are the six strangest quotes from the interview.
“I’ve interviewed most of the people on the communications team in the White House, and what the president and I would like to tell everybody, we have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are, who the senior leakers are in the White House. . . . As the president would say in his own words, the White House leakers are small potatoes. I’ll talk to you about a few leaks that happened last night that I find reprehensible. But the White House leaks are small potatoes, relative to things that are going on, with leaking things about Syria, North Korea, or leaking things about Iraq. Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago people would have actually been hung for those types of leaks.”
On those leaks again. . .
“The leaking won’t stop. I can’t have a couple of friends up from “Fox and Friends,” and Sean Hannity, who’s one of my closest friends, to dinner with the president and his first lady, without it being leaked in seven minutes. It’s absolutely, completely, and totally reprehensible. And as you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, OK? And that’s me and the president. I don’t like the activity that’s going on in the White House. I don’t like what they’re doing to my friends, I don’t like what they’re doing to the president of the United States or their fellow colleagues in the West Wing.”
On Reince Priebus
“We have had odds we have had differences. When I said we were brothers from the podium, that’s because we’re rough on each other. Some brothers are like Cain and Abel, other brothers can fight with each other and get along. I don’t know if this is repairable or not, that will be up to the president.
“If Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that.”
On the goal of the Trump administration
“There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president. OK, that is not their job. Their job is to inject this president into America so that he can explain his views properly and his policies so that we can transform America and drain the swamp and make this system fairer for the middle- and lower-lncome people.”
On the Russia sanctions bill before Congress
“He’s looking at these sanctions right now, he may decide to veto the sanctions and be tougher than the Russians than the Congress. [Crosstalk] He may sign the sanctions, exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians. He has a counterintuitive, counterpunching personality.”
On financial disclosure forms
“In the neighborhood I grew up in, I’m never going to dishonor my parents by doing something wrong, these guys have oppo’d me for six months, they’re scratching their heads, they can’t find anything. Twenty-nine years on Wall Street, and an Italian last name, not one trading violation . . . they can’t find anything. Because I would never dishonor my dad by hurting my last name by doing something stupid for money, or for power.”Christina Prignano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.