White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci defended the expletive-filled, “colorful language” he used to describe his colleagues in the Trump administration in an interview with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza and said he’ll try to limit it in the future. In the most eye-opening part of the interview, Scaramucci said he’s not like Steve Bannon, adding, “I’m not trying to suck my own cock.”
Scaramucci later tweeted, “I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @RealDonaldTrump’s agenda. #MAGA.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said there will be no further comment aside from Scaramucci’s tweet.
Scaramucci later said he shouldn’t have trusted Lizza.
Lizza published the quotes from the interview after a whirlwind day that kicked off with Scaramucci venting on Twitter about a Politico story that revealed his financial disclosure form. Although the form was publicly available, Scaramucci lashed out on Twitter, calling the release a “felony” and appearing to accuse White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of leaking the form.
Scaramucci called Lizza, who also tweeted about Scaramucci having dinner with Trump, Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine, believing that Lizza would give up his source for the dinner information. Lizza refused, so Scaramucci went off about leakers and threatened to fire everyone in the White House communications office. Then, Scaramucci complained about Priebus, suggesting that he leaked the information because he wasn’t invited to the dinner.
“Reince is a f**king paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci told Lizza. He then pretended to talk like Priebus, saying, “‘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.’”
Scaramucci then told Lizza that he isn’t out to get media attention like other senior Trump officials. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, referring to Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f**king strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.”
The former financier, who has never held a communications job outside of contributing to Fox News before, then hinted to Lizza that he might have information on other White House aides. “I’ve got digital fingerprints on everything they’ve done through the F.B.I. and the f**king Department of Justice,” Scaramucci threatened.
“Yeah, let me go, though, because I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy,” Scaramucci said to end the interview. He then posted the tweet calling the leak of his financial form a “felony,” and it was deleted two hours later.
Lizza confirmed that he did record the interview with Scaramucci.
Hours after the conversation with Lizza, Scaramucci called into CNN, and changed his story about his relationship with Priebus. He compared their relationship to Cain and Abel.
“I don’t know if this is repairable or not,” Scaramucci said of his relationship with the former Republican National Committee chairman. “That will be up to the president. But he’s the chief of staff. He’s responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me [uncover the leakers] in the White House, which is why I put that tweet out last night.”
Scaramucci also denied on Twitter that he was specifically targeting Priebus. “Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks,” he wrote.
The Priebus-Scaramucci feud dates back to before the inauguration, when it looked like Scaramucci would take a role in the administration. He sold off his ownership stake in SkyBridge Capital in January, but Priebus successfully blocked Scaramucci from getting a job in the White House. Then when the Communications Director job opened, Priebus was against Scaramucci getting that job. When he did, Priebus ally Sean Spicer resigned from his job as Press Secretary.
The Daily Beast reports that the feud is Trump-sanctioned, giving Scaramucci the “green light” to publicly attack Priebus in interviews. Trump “is not concerned with Reince’s feelings,” once source told the site. Other sources who know Scaramucci told the Daily Beast that Scaramucci nicknamed Priebus “Reince Penis.”