WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Newly-appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is speaking out after an expletive-laced interview, saying he sometimes uses “colorful language” and pledging to refrain.
The interview appears on the website of The New Yorker magazine. In it, an angry Scaramucci decries leaks coming from the White House and uses expletives to accuse Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of being a “paranoid schizophrenic.”
From the article:
“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 f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f—ing thing and see if I can c–k-block these people the way I c–k-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ”
He also used obscenities in accusing White House chief strategist Steve Bannon of trying to burnish his own reputation.
Scaramucci later tweeted, in part: “I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight” for President Donald Trump’s agenda.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she has nothing to add to Scaramucci’s tweet.
Earlier Thursday, Huckabee Sanders dodged a question about whether the president has full confidence in the embattled Priebus, repeating an often-used line that the president would dismiss him if he didn’t have full confidence.
Sanders also said the president has purposely brought together senior staffers who have a “lot of different perspectives” to foster “healthy competition,” adding, “this isn’t group think.”
Scaramucci has promised to contact investigators over what he says is an illegal leak of his financial disclosure form. The comment came in a since-deleted tweet that mentioned Priebus’ Twitter handle.
Scaramucci tweeted Wednesday night: “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony, I will be contacting (at)FBI and the (at)JusticeDept (hash)swamp (at)Reince45.” After removing the tweet, Scaramucci denied that it was a threat to Priebus, writing that the deleted tweet was “was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks.”
Politico reported earlier Wednesday on the former Wall Street financier’s financial holdings. The report was based off of Scaramucci’s financial disclosure form, which the Politico reporter said were easily obtained by a public records request.
On Thursday morning, Scaramucci told CNN’s “New Day” that sometimes administration officials “leak things to reporters to help shape policy.”
Asked what he meant by including Priebus’ Twitter handle, Scaramucci says, “If Reince wants to explain he’s not the leaker, he can do that.”
Scaramucci, a former Wall Street financier, owns property and businesses worth more than $50 million. That is the tally of assets listed on his federal financial disclosure report filed with the Office of Government Ethics.
The biggest source of his wealth was an ownership stake in investment fund SkyBridge Capital. The fund, which is in the process of being sold, also accounted for a bulk of his income. He took in nearly $10 million in salary and other income from SkyBridge.
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