Anthony Scaramucci, who recently resigned as White House communications director, said Tuesday he was “joking” in the comments he made to a New Yorker reporter about other Trump administration officials, The Hill reports.
“Most of what I said was humorous and joking. Legally, it may have been on the record, but the spirit of it was off. And he knew that.” Scaramucci told the Huffington Post on Tuesday, referring to his now infamous phone call to Ryan Lizza.
While Scaramucci claims his insulting remarks were mostly not serious, he received strong backlash for his vulgar, expletive-filled phone call that many cable news network hosts have had difficulty repeating on air.
Scaramucci referred to then-White House communications director Reince Priebus as a “f—— paranoid schizophrenic.” He also claimed White House adviser Steve Bannon is only in his role to for media attention.
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c—. I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f—— strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” he said. Despite feeling betrayed that Lizza published an account of the phone call, Scaramucci told the news outlet that they are old family friends.
“The Lizzas and Scaramuccis have been friends for over 50 years. My dad knew his dad from construction, and we were building a personal relationship,” he said.Lizza, however, refutes Scaramucci’s claims of being close friends.
“I’ve only known Anthony in his capacity as a Trump surrogate and then White House communications director. We are not and have never been ‘old family friends,’ though I think our fathers knew each other, so maybe that’s what he’s talking about. (The Long Island Italian world in that generation is relatively small.) But again that would not be a reason to suppress an explosive on-the-record interview.” Lizza told the news outlet.
Scaramucci left his post after 10 days on the job, after Priebus’s replacement, General John Kelly, asked for him to resign.