Even by the bizarre, paranoid, in-fighting standards of the Trump administration, the arrival of new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has been nothing less than a seismic event. First, he threatens the jobs of everyone in the White House communications shop. Then, he went ballistic over the “leaking” of his financial disclosure information (the information is publicly available). Next, he gave an interview to CNN in which he laid bare his disdain for chief of state Reince Priebus. But the biggest grenade came in an on-the-record conversation with a reporter with The New Yorker in which he called Priebus, among other things, “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic.”
The Shad is printing the profanities because they convey the intensity and near out-of-control nature of Scaramucci and because they were printed in The New Yorker.
What set “The Mooch” off most recently was a tweet—not an article or story, a tweet—in which reporter Ryan Lizza wrote that the president, the first lady, Scaramucci, Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine had dinner together. Lizza cited “a senior White House official.” The dinner raises questions about whether Trump is taking media advice from a talk show hump like Hannity.
Scaramucci called Lizza and showed himself to be an amateur and a saboteur. He tried to get Lizza to give up a source, as if any reporter worth their notebook would ever do that. “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.”
Perhaps Scaramucci was trying to play on the fact that Lizza is a very mild-mannered guy by nature.
“’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.’ (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)” Lizza later said on CNN that Priebus was not the source of the tweet.
It was Thursday morning when Scaramucci went nuts on Priebus on CNN’s “New Day.”
The dysfunction on public display comes as the Senate is making an absolute mockery of the legislative process in trying to pass something, anything, on health care. Such is the new normal in this age of Trump.