In less than a week as President Trump's communications director, Anthony Scaramucci managed to cement his place in White House history with an obscenity-filled conversation with a reporter in which he crudely attacked fellow senior staff members.
In a phone call Wednesday night to Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker's chief Washington correspondent, Scaramucci employed a string of expletives to rant against White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, calling him a "paranoid schizophrenic." He also insulted Trump strategist Steve Bannon and threatened to fire the entire White House communications team. Lizza said Scaramucci never asked for the conversation to be off the record.
Scaramucci opened the call demanding Lizza give him the source of a tweet he sent outlining the president's dinner plans with political pundit Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine.
"I said I couldn’t give him that information," Lizza wrote. "He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff."
In addition to threatening to fire "the entire place" to get to Lizza's source, Scaramucci also appealed to Lizza's sense of patriotism.
"You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country," Scaramucci said of the leaked presidential dining information, according to Lizza. "So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it."
When Lizza asked Scaramucci why the names of Trump's dinner guests were so important, the former New York financier said he had "asked for people not to leak things for a period of time."
Lizza said as Scaramucci got "more and more worked up" he "eventually convinced himself that Priebus was my source."
Scaramucci believed Priebus leaked a financial disclosure form he filled out as a government employee, telling Lizza he had contacted the FBI about what he believed to be a felony. (It's not. The form is a public document available upon request.)
"The swamp will not defeat him," Scarmucci told Lizza, referring to himself in the third person. "They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work. I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures."
Scaramucci suspected Priebus of leaking Trump dinner guests because he said Priebus was worried about not being invited. Scaramucci called Priebus a "paranoid schizophrenic" and used a vulgar term to compare Priebus trying to block Shine's access to Trump to Priebus' reported attempts to keep him from the job as communications director.
Scaramucci used an explicit sexual reference to accuse Bannon of doing more to blow himself up in the media and build his own brand than to serve the country.
Scaramucci told Lizza he planned to send tweets to make Priebus "crazy."
Lizza said minutes after the call Scaramucci sent a tweet implying Priebus leaked his financial disclosure form.
"In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45," Scaramucci wrote Wednesday night in a tweet he later deleted.
Lizza wrote that he believed Scaramucci's rant about Priebus and leaks was driven by his "intense loyalty to Trump."
Scaramucci told Lizza that he wanted to "kill all the leakers and I want to get the President’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people."
The White House communications director sent a tweet Thursday evening promising to "refrain" from using "colorful language" in the future. But he also swore not to "give up the passionate fight" for Trump's agenda.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 27, 2017
A couple hours later, Scaramucci said he "made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again."
I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 28, 2017
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