Morning Briefing: The White House Has Hit Critical Dysfunction
At around 11 p.m. last night, shit fell apart when the new comms director, Anthony Scarumucci (I fucking refuse to call him The Mooch), tweeted this, which has since been deleted (because Scarumucci is worse at Twitter than his boss):
And yes, if you’re wondering, that’s exactly what it looks like: The White House Communications director was threatening the Chief of Staff with an FBI investigation over — as it turns out — a leak that wasn’t even a leak. Politico reported on Scaramucci’s finances, reportedly based on requested public information.
This is the day Mooch became President.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 27, 2017
Scaramucci has since tried to walk it back a little, but his line now is basically: If Reince isn’t the leaker, tell him to prove it:
This, of course, comes two days after Scaramucci threatened to fire everyone in the Communications office over a leak about someone being fired that Scaramucci leaked in the first place. Basically, this is why Reince Priebus didn’t want to hire Scaramucci in the first place. He has no idea what he’s doing:
He has long believed that it was a combination of leaks & internal shit talking that killed his first attempt at joining the administration.— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) July 27, 2017
And the infighting continues:
So much for Reince and Scaramucci being “like brothers,” unless they’re the kind of brothers that open up FBI investigations on each other. Scaramucci is now saying that they are brothers like Cain and Abel, and that the damage between them may not be reparable:
Scaramucci on internal battle with Reince Priebus: "Some brothers are like Cain and Abel…I don't know if this is reparable or not." pic.twitter.com/x4aVy0iYdX— Axios (@axios) July 27, 2017
Of course, Trump is probably delighted by all of this, because his new guy is hitting his old guy, and it all takes focus away from Russia/Health care. It also makes it easier to get rid of Reince:
It kinda seems like Trump has outsourced the firing of Reince to Mooch.— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 27, 2017
Again, the leak was not a leak. It came from a disclosure form, which is apparently something that Kellyanne Conway believes that no one in the White House should have to fill out:
On Fox & Friends, Kellyanne Conway says filling out disclosure forms "demoralizing," discourage people from serving in government.— Marina Fang (@marinafang) July 27, 2017
Are you kidding me with this?
Let’s acknowledge that the White House is completely dysfunctional and move on because we could do this all day.
The people trying to blame Reince as a leaker, leaked their strategy to do so. This is Inception but for incompetent fools https://t.co/nEVq5m7VHL— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) July 27, 2017
Elsewhere, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowksi received an interesting call last night from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who basically told her that if she doesn’t go along with the GOP on the health care bill that he will put the screws to Alaska, where much of their energy sector relies on the Interior Secretary.
That’s staggering. The White House is bullying a United States Senator. It’s unclear if it will work, but many of us would love to know what the rest of the Republican Senate thinks of one of their own being threatened and bullied by the President.
— As for the health care bill, it’s still chaos. There’s less than 24 hours before the Republicans run out of time to vote on something. Again, McConnell is crafting something behind closed doors, likely some form of a skinny repeal, which is apparently meant to be a vehicle to get this to conference with the House, where many people worry that the original House bill is what will eventually come out (many Republicans in the House have already stated they wouldn’t vote for the skinny repeal).
I really don’t have a goddamn idea what’s going on there.
— Meanwhile, no one really understands what’s going on with the ban on transgender people in the military, because no one was prepared for it. There was no policy. Trump just basically tweeted, and now everyone is scrambling to come up with a policy. We don’t even know if it is a retroactive policy, or if it just applies to new recruits. It’s goddamn madness, and half the Republicans seem like they’re against it. I think that Kirsten Gillibrand is going to try and do something in Congress, and while she might cobble together enough support to pass a bill, she’ll never get enough votes to override the President’s veto.
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