Anthony Scaramucci promised a massive White House purge in an expletive-laden interview with The New Yorker published Thursday.
Scaramucci, the recently appointed White House communications director, unloaded to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza about White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, saying “he’ll be asked to resign very shortly” and promising that virtually everyone in the White House communications shop will “all be fired by me.”
Scaramucci called Lizza on Wednesday night because he was angered by a tweet from the reporter earlier in the day. That tweet cited a “senior White House official” who said Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former Fox News executive Bill Shine, and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“Who leaked that to you?” Scaramucci asked, to which Lizza said he could not reveal the source.
Scaramucci then promised to fire the whole 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, adding “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves. 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.”
After Lizza again said he would not confirm who leaked it, Scaramucci said he would “fire every one of them.”
“And then you haven’t protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks,” he said, adding “they will all be fired by me.”
“I fired one guy the other day,” he continued. “I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he’ll be asked to resign’ very shortly.”
Scaramucci called Priebus a “f—— paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
He then spoke as if he were imitating Priebus.
“‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f—— thing and see if I can c–k-block these people the way I c–k-blocked Scaramucci for six months.'”
Scaramucci had become incensed at Priebus the night before after a Politico report detailed his financial disclosure, which was publicly available from Scaramucci’s stint at the Export-Import Bank. Scaramucci, who did not know that at the time, had tweeted that the report was illegally leaked and said he was going to contact the FBI and the Justice Department. He also tagged Priebus in the tweet and wrote #swamp.
“They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work,” Scaramucci wrote. “I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go f— themselves.”
Scaramucci then turned to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, saying that unlike the former Breitbart News chairman, he was not interested in media attention.
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c—,” Scaramucci said. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f—— strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
He transitioned back to Priebus, saying that the chief of staff would launch a campaign against him, in addition to soon resigning.
“He didn’t get the hint that I was reporting directly to the president,” he said. “And I said to the president ‘here are the four or five things that he will do to me.'”
“What I want to do is I want to f—— kill all the leakers and I want to get the president’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people,” he continued.
He insisted the leaks would be “cleaned up very shortly” because “I nailed these guys” and “I’ve got digital fingerprints on everything they have done through the FBI and the f——” Justice Department.’
Thursday morning, when Lizza appeared on CNN to discuss the Wednesday-night drama, Scaramucci called into host Chris Cuomo’s morning show and referenced the conversation with Lizza. He said that the reason he mentioned Priebus in that Wednesday night tweet that soon went viral was not because he was suggesting Priebus leaked but because he wanted Priebus to help discover the leakers.
“He’s the chief of staff, he’s responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the White House, which is why I put that tweet out last night,” Scaramucci said.
But in that interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Scaramucci also said “if Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that.”
“I can speak for my own actions,” Scaramucci said. “He’s gonna need to speak for his own actions.”
Scaramucci also said he didn’t know “if the relationship with Reince is repairable” and “that’s up to the president.”
Priebus’ days seem increasingly numbered. As BuzzFeed reported Thursday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has privately told people that the chief of staff is “gone” and that Priebus is trying to figure out his plan. As a source recalled to BuzzFeed, Conway said White House staffers connected to the Republican National Committee, which Priebus used to run, are going to be ousted, and that the Trump administration is “going back to Trump loyalists.”
Meanwhile, during Thursday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — who replaced her predecessor Sean Spicer, himself a former RNC official — declined to express confidence in Priebus.
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