In the first public moments of his tenure as White House communications director on Friday, Anthony Scaramucci addressed the reported turmoil between himself and and a top Trump administration staffer.
In a press briefing Friday afternoon, Scaramucci noted the various reports of his conflicts with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, who was reportedly opposed to the former hedge fund manager taking a job in the administration.
“Reince and I have been personal friends for six years,” Scaramucci said. “We are a little bit like brothers, where we rough each other up a little, which is totally normal for brothers. There’s a lot of people here who have brothers, so you get that.”
Scaramucci described Priebus as a “dear friend,” and said that he worked with Priebus at the Republican National Committee and offered the former RNC chairman a job in 2012 to serve as chief operating officer for his investment firm, SkyBridge Capital, in 2012.
“We are committed as true professionals to the team and the process of getting the administration’s message out,” Scaramucci said. “I think there’s been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president, and how much we love the president, and the way some of you see the president.”
The gulf between Scaramucci and Priebus has been widely reported for months.
Outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who is one of Priebus’ closest allies in the administration, abruptly resigned on Friday following Scaramucci’s appointment as communications director, a move that some interpreted as a sign of the chief of staff’s waning influence.
Scaramucci has been blunt in private about Priebus’ attempts to shut him out of the president’s inner circle, but has occasionally acknowledged the friction between the two.
“I have a lot of friends in the administration,” Scaramucci told Business Insider in late May. “I have one or two people who obviously don’t favour me, but that’s ok, that’s politics. I’m not the first person to get hit in politics, and I won’t be the last.”