As we reported this morning, things aren’t going well between Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Preibus. Scaramucci basically threatened to call the FBI on Preibus for leaks on Twitter last night, but that’s nothing compared to the phone call he had with New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza before he sent that tweet. I don’t know that Scaramucci knew it was on the record, but he never said it was off the record, so it’s fair game, which Scaramucci would know if he had any idea how to do his goddamn job.
Read the whole thing over on The New Yorker, because it comes off like the best episode of Veep or The Thick of It ever, only it’s fucking real.
Here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite, and keep in mind, the “leak” here is about who attended a dinner with Trump last night (Hannity, Bill Shine, Scaramucci):
“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He 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.”
“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. 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.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: ” ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ “
Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)
He cryptically suggested that he had more information about White House aides. “O.K., the Mooch showed up a week ago,” he said. “This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, O.K.? Because I nailed these guys. I’ve got digital fingerprints on everything they’ve done through the F.B.I. and the fucking Department of Justice.” “What?” I interjected.
“Well, the felony, they’re gonna get prosecuted, probably, for the felony.” He added, “The lie detector starts—” but then he changed the subject …
The man has been there less than a week, and he’s already lost it. He’s as paranoid and freaked out as everyone else has been in the White House. He’s either gone by September, or everyone else in the White House will be, and it’ll just be Scaramucci and Trump running the country.
Read the whole interview over on The New Yorker. Savor it. It’s gold.