Nate Jackson / Jul. 28, 2017

Scaramucci Spouts Off About Leaks

The new White House communications director certainly has a rough way of communicating.

“Who leaked that to you?” White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci demanded to know of Ryan Lizza, a reporter for The New Yorker. Scaramucci was immediately concerned with information about a certain dinner, but his broader concern is about the leaks plaguing Donald Trump’s White House. Lizza refused to disclose his source, as just about any reporter would, and he recorded the ensuing phone conversation this way:

[Scaramucci] responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he’s inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “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 appears to be particularly aiming for Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who he suspects of the leaks and of “c— blocking” Scaramucci’s appointment sooner. That’s where his remarks got extremely, er, “colorful” as he later explained. “Reince is a f—king paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” cried Scaramucci. In fact, he continued, “What I want to do is I want to f—king kill all the leakers and I want to get the president’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people.”

Pleasant fellow. Leakers aren’t the only target of his ire, though. Lizza records, “Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention.” He then quoted Scaramucci saying, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c—.” Bannon is Trump’s chief strategist and comes from Breitbart News. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f—king strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”

Maybe this kind of language still plays well among some of Trump’s base — drain the swamp at all costs! — but it is pathetically uncouth and degrading for the White House. It’s disgraceful. And from the communications director no less. Let’s get one thing straight, though. Scaramucci was hired to be Trump’s “heavy” — the muscle who will knock some heads together. That may be necessary, and Scaramucci may be gone in a month or two when the job is done.

The smart guy in this debacle is former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who had the good sense to resign upon Scaramucci’s hiring. When asked how he felt after departing, Spicer said, “How do I look like I’m feeling? Relieved.”

The upside: Scaramucci may actually upstage Trump’s stupid remarks.

Finally, after the interview was published, Scaramucci tweeted, “I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won’t happen again.” That would imply he trusted reporters to begin with. What planet is he from?

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