White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
(image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
So Ryan Lizza, a Big Willie reporter at The New Yorker, received a phone call last Wednesday night from our fancy new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Naturally Lizza wrote all about it, and it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since…since…well, since Friday’s news feed.
On Wednesday night, I received a phone call from Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director. He wasn’t happy. Earlier in the night, I’d tweeted, citing a “senior White House official,” that Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with President Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and the former Fox News executive Bill Shine. It was an interesting group, and raised some questions. Was Trump getting strategic advice from Hannity? Was he considering hiring Shine? But Scaramucci had his own question—for me.
“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.
Of course he believed it! He’s the White House Communications Director ferchrissakes! They don’t give that job to just anybody!
He continued to press me and complain about the staff he’s inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”
That’s right: It’s a “major catastrophe” that the public knows Donald Trump had dinner with Sean Hannity. Not since Watergate and the Pentagon Papers has such high-level government perfidy been made public in the press! THE COUNTRY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. Also FYI: Reporter Ryan Lizza is no patriot if he does not reveal his confidential sources to a man who looks like this:
In Scaramucci’s view, the fact that word of the dinner had reached a reporter was evidence that his rivals in the West Wing, particularly Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, were plotting against him.
Oh dear Lard I hope not! Scaramucci is the best White House hire yet! I will have blog fodder for eons, people!
Now, he wanted to know whom I had been talking to about his dinner with the President. Scaramucci, who initiated the call, did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background.
“Is it an assistant to the President?” he asked. I again told him I couldn’t say. “O.K., I’m going to fire every one of them, and then you haven’t protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks.”
This is just a stock threat straight out of a mob drama: If you don’t give up the rat, I will hurt the people you love. Christ, I would have loved to see Lizza’s face.
Scaramucci wasn’t done with Lizza yet – not even close.
He was getting more and more worked up, and he eventually convinced himself that Priebus was my source.
“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.'”
I just want to take a moment here to reiterate that Anthony Scaramucci is the White House Communications Director. Talking on the phone. With reporter Ryan Lizza.
Scaramucci was particularly incensed by a Politico report about his financial-disclosure form, which he viewed as an illegal act of retaliation by Priebus. The reporter said Thursday morning that the document was publicly available and she had obtained it from the Export-Import Bank. Scaramucci didn’t know this at the time, and he insisted to me that Priebus had leaked the document, and that the act was “a felony.”
“I’ve called the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice,” he told me.
“Are you serious?” I asked.
Yes Ryan, as hilariously unbelievable as it is, he’s actually serious! Scaramucci thinks his PUBLIC FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE was “leaked” to Politico by White House Chief of Staff Rience Priebus, and that this was a felony. I’m dyin’ over here!
“The swamp will not defeat him,” he said, breaking into the third person. “They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work. I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go fuck themselves.”
Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist.
Once again, this is the White House Communications Director, on the record, to a New Yorker reporter.
I. can’t. even.
“What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers…” he told me.
He cryptically suggested that he had more information about White House aides. “O.K., the Mooch showed up a week ago,” he said. “This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, O.K.? Because I nailed these guys. I’ve got digital fingerprints on everything they’ve done through the F.B.I. and the fucking Department of Justice.”
“What?” I interjected.
“Well, the felony, they’re gonna get prosecuted, probably, for the felony.”
That would be the “felony” of “leaking” his PUBLIC FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE. He nailed all these felons in the White House with the help of “the F.B.I. and the fucking Department of Justice,” which henceforth and forevermore shall be abbreviated FDOJ.
Hey, is the White House Communications Director also going to “fucking kill” all the felons in the US press corps who publish public information? He probably thinks he can just fire them! All of them.
Scaramucci said he had to get going. “Yeah, let me go, though, because I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make [Priebus] crazy.”
Minutes later, he tweeted, “In light of the leak of my financial info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45.” With the addition of Priebus’s Twitter handle, he was making public what he had just told me: that he believed Priebus was leaking information about him. The tweet quickly went viral.
Scaramucci seemed to have second thoughts. Within two hours he deleted the original tweet and posted a new one denying that he was targeting the chief of staff.
Maybe someone finally told him what a public financial disclosure is. Or how the press works.
For his grand finale he tweeted this:
The White House Communications Director made a “mistake” by “trusting in a reporter.” BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I will bet a million internet dollars this most certainly will happen again. There is no fucking way that this d00d can help himself.
Don’t ever quit, Mooch.