White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci criticized chief of staff Reince Priebus, accusing him of leaking details of a private dinner with President Donald Trump and claiming he will be asked to resign, The Hill reports.
“Reince is a f—— paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci told New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza in a Wednesday phone call.
“They’ll all be fired by me. 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,” he said of the White House communications staff.
Scaramucci was angry that Lizza found out he planned to dine with Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine at the White House. He believed that Priebus, whom he has feuded with for months, was the one who told Lizza about it.
Mimicking Priebus, Scaramucci tells Lizza: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f—— thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” Priebus did not respond to the New Yorker’s request for comment.
In a tweet after the story was published, Scaramucci refused to apologize to his colleagues, but he did suggest that he would quit using profanity publicly in his new role.
“I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump’s agenda. #MAGA,” he wrote.
“He’s very passionate about the president — the president’s agenda, and I think he may have let that get the best of him in that conversation,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during an interview with Fox News.
Scaramucci has portrayed himself as a close confidant of the president who has a better understanding of his agenda and style than Priebus and others who came from the world of Washington.
Earlier Thursday, Scaramucci insinuated Trump’s top aide was behind the “leak” of his financial disclosure forms, which were not leaked. He also forced out a member of the White House press shop who worked with Priebus at the Republican National Committee.
Scaramucci directed his profane tirade at other members of the White House staff, whom he said were only in their posts for media attention and notoriety.
Priebus and Bannon were vehemently opposed to Scaramucci’s hire, which was announced last Friday. Both men have reportedly tried to keep the Wall Street financier off the White House staff ever since the transition.
But Scaramucci trained most of his ire on Priebus, with whom he has clashed ever since their days as Republican National Committee chairman and GOP donor respectively.
He vented his anger that Politico reported on his financial disclosure forms, which were obtained through a routine records request to the Export-Import Bank, where he worked before being hired at the White House.
Scaramucci insisted to Lizza that Priebus leaked the document, which he called a “felony.” He also confirmed that a now-deleted Wednesday night tweet blasting the so-called leak was directed at Priebus.
When he was hired on Friday, Scaramucci and Priebus sought to portray a united front. The chief of staff said he was behind the hiring “100 percent” and the new communications chief called him “a dear friend” and said they “are a little bit like brothers”.