Is Anthony Scaramucci trying to out-Trump President Trump?
The newly appointed White House communications director apparently called up a New Yorker reporter Wednesday night and went on a profanity-laced rant, threatening to fire his whole staff if the reporter didn’t give up a source.
In the interview with Ryan Lizza, Scaramucci also called chief of staff Reince Priebus “a [expletive] paranoid schizophrenic,” accused chief strategist Steve Bannon of trying to do unprintable things to himself, and repeatedly referred to himself in the third person, according to an article on The New Yorker’s website.
It all started after Lizza tweeted Wednesday evening that the president was having dinner with Fox News host Sean Hannity, former Fox News executive Bill Shine, and Scaramucci.
Scoop: Trump is dining tonight w/Sean Hannnity, Bill Shine (former Fox News executive), & Anthony Scaramucci, per to 2 knowledgeable sources— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) July 26, 2017
Scaramucci called Lizza shortly after, demanding to know who leaked the dinner’s guest list.
“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 reportedly said to Lizza.
When Lizza said he asked why it was so important the dinner be kept secret, Scaramucci reportedly got “more and more worked up” and accused Priebus of giving Lizza the information.
“He channelled Priebus as he spoke: ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the [expletive] thing and see if I can [expletive]-block these people the way I [expletive]-blocked Scaramucci for six months,’ ” Lizza wrote.
The quote is probably a reference to how Trump originally wanted Scaramucci to be his communications director, but ultimately went with Michael Dubke after Priebus recommended against hiring Scaramucci, according to The New York Times. (Priebus again opposed Scaramucci’s recent appointment — partly because he felt threatened by the new communications director’s “easy banter and direct line” to Trump, the Times reported.)
In the phone call with Lizza, Scaramucci said he wanted to “[expletive] kill all the leakers,” and, referring to himself in the third person, declared, “The swamp will not defeat him.”
“I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go [expletive] themselves,” Scaramucci reportedly told Lizza, speaking of his financial disclosure forms that were recently reported on.
At the end of the call, Scaramucci said he had to go so he could “start tweeting some [expletive] to make this guy crazy.”
Minutes later, Lizza said, Scaramucci sent out a tweet that has since been deleted, calling the leak of his financial disclosure form a “felony” and tagging Priebus in the post.
On Thursday morning, as Lizza made an appearance on CNN, Scaramucci called in and spoke about the leaks — and Priebus — for all the network’s viewers to hear.
“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,” Scaramucci said on CNN.
Scaramucci also spoke about Priebus, saying he wasn’t sure whether their relationship was “repairable.”
“If Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that,” Scaramucci said.
On Thursday night, Scaramucci seemed to reply to the article, noting that he sometimes uses “colorful language.”
I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump's agenda. #MAGA— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 27, 2017
Hours later, he tweeted again.
I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 28, 2017