Washington, July 28 (IANS) White House’s new Communication Director Anthony Scaramucci has launched a strongly-worded attack on White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
In an interview with the New Yorker magazine published on Thursday, Scaramucci called Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” and claimed that the former Republican Party chairman will “be asked to resign very shortly” in a sweep that he warned could eventually involve much of the staff.
Scaramucci called the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza to vent about persistent leaks from federal employees to the press after Lizza had tweeted about who Scaramucci was dining with.
After unsuccessfully demanding the source for one of Lizza’s tweets, Scaramucci switched to a different tactic.
He used profane language against Priebus and also hit out at Bannon, questioning his loyalty.
“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said, referring to the White House communications staff. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow.”
Later, Scaramucci said Priebus had leaked a story to Lizza as revenge for not being invited to dinner with the President.
The new Communications Director had waged a war against White House leaks since assuming his post. He repeated his threat to fire all of the communications staff, and had already followed through with one staffer — Assistant Press secretary Michael Short, reports said.
After telling Politico of his plans to fire Short in advance, Scaramucci then condemned the press for reporting on it. “This is actually a terrible thing,” he told reporters outside the White House.
“Let’s say I’m firing Michael Short today. The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic.”
Scaramucci was particularly incensed by the leak of his financial disclosure earlier, which he deemed a “felony”, although such documents were made publicly available online once they are vetted by the Office of Government Ethics.
Scaramucci, who predicted in the interview that Priebus would soon resign, later said on Twitter: “I sometimes use colourful language.”
He vowed to “refrain in this arena” going forward. But he offered no apology to Priebus or Bannon, who both report directly to Trump.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered a defence of Scaramucci on Fox News on Thursday evening, saying he’s someone who’s “very passionate” about Trump.
“This is a guy who sometimes uses colourful, and in many circles probably not appropriate, language,” Sanders said.
“He’s very passionate about the President and I think he may have let that get the best of him in that conversation.”