Things continue to heat up at the White House, and there seems to be no slowing down.
Less than one week into his new job as White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci is making waves in the press with his verbal assaults and “leaking” allegations of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Scaramucci issued a tweet July 26 appearing to accuse Priebus of committing a felony. He then doubled-down on the accusations the very next day in an interview with CNN.
But perhaps the most headline-worthy moment came moments before Scaramucci sent the tweet in an interview with The New Yorker. Scaramucci, who was looking to find out who had “leaked” a financial document of his, didn’t hold much back during the interview, harshly criticizing Preibus and other members of President Donald Trump‘s administration.
“It’s the kind of interview you expect from someone who is leaving their job in a blaze of glory — not someone who just accepted a job in an already-embattled White House,” The Washington Post‘s Aaron Blake wrote.
Here’s what you need to know about Scaramucci and Priebus’ relationship:
1. Scaramucci Harshly Accused Priebus of Leaking a Financial Disclosure Form & Called him ‘F***ing Paranoid’
The reported infighting between Scaramucci and Priebus escalated further into the public eye July 26 with a single tweet.
One of the key initiatives Scaramucci said he was hired to investigate was figuring out who the “leakers” in the administration are.
So, Scaramucci understandably felt betrayed when a financial disclosure form of his was “leaked” to the press. He sent out a now-deleted tweet that seemed to accuse Priebus of playing a role in it getting into the hands of the media.
Minutes before pressing “submit” on the tweet, however, The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza received a phone call from Scaramucci, who lambasted Priebus and harshly accused him of being one of the “leakers.”
Before hanging up the phone, Scaramucci vowed to Lizza that he was going to tweet something about Priebus, and he did so with the above tweet.
“Yeah, let me go, though, because I’ve gotta start tweeting some s**t to make this guy crazy,” Scaramucci said during the interview.
The rest of the interview was extremely eye-opening, vulgar, volatile and extremely critical of Priebus.
“Reince Priebus, if you want to leak something, he’ll be asked to resign very shortly,” Scaramucci said to Lizza. “Reince is a f***ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
After the harsh criticism, Scaramucci demonstrated a sarcastic impression of Priebus to Lizza.
“Oh, Bill Shine is coming in,” Scaramucci said. “Let me leak the f***ing thing and see if I can c***block these people the way I c***blocked Scaramucci for six months.”
Scaramucci wasn’t only critical of Priebus, he also called out Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, saying that he tries “to s**k (his) own c**k,” adding “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f***ing strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
Scaramucci commented on the interview with Lizza, saying that he sometimes uses vulgarities when he gets passionate about topics he believes in.
That wasn’t it, though, not by a long shot. Scaramucci continued speaking about getting to the bottom identifying the leakers, saying that he would “fire everybody” if Lizza didn’t tell him who the source was that told him Scaramucci and Trump were having dinner with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Scaramucci then reportedly threatened to “kill” those who leak things to the press.
“What I want to do is I want to f—ing kill all the leakers and I want to get the president’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people,” Scaramucci said.
2. Scaramucci Publicly Asked Priebus to Explain Himself
One day after the interview and the tweet, Scaramucci continued threatening Priebus in an interview with on CNN’s New Day.
The interview lasted around 30 minutes, and Scaramucci wasn’t booked to appear on the show. Instead, he called in to try and set the record straight.
“It’s absolutely, completely and totally reprehensible,” Scaramucci said of the alleged leaking. “And as you know from the Italian expression: The fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, and that’s me and the President.
“I don’t like the activity going on in the White House. I don’t like what they’re doing to my friend. I don’t like what they’re doing to the President of the United States or their fellow colleagues in the West Wing.”
Scaramucci said that Priebus has to explain whether he’s the “leaker” or not.
“When I put out a tweet and I put Reince’s name in a tweet, they’re all making the assumption that it’s him because journalists know who the leakers are,” Scaramucci said. “So if Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that. But let me tell you about myself. I’m a straight shooter and I’ll go right to the heart of the matter.”
3. Reports Say That Priebus Strongly Disagreed With Scaramucci’s Appointment
On July 21, Trump surprised many by announcing that Scaramucci would fill the vacant White House communications director spot.
According to the New York Times, the selection of Scaramucci didn’t only surprise the public, it also shocked and angered former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who announce he would resign almost immediately after the meeting.
The Times said that Spicer “vehemently disagreed” with Scaramucci’s appointment, and he wasn’t the only one.
New Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Bannon and Priebus were all “vocally” against Scaramucci’s appointment, a source who spoke to The Daily Beast said.
Much of the reason Priebus and Bannon felt so strongly about not bringing on Scaramucci was because he would have an easy and direct line to Trump, therein threatening their positions in the administration, the source told the publication.
The loss of Spicer from the administration was felt as a huge blow to Priebus, who brought Spicer into the fold. Priebus served as the Republican National Committee chairman, and Spicer was the spokesperson for the organization. Despite skepticism, Trump agreed with Priebus and appointed Spicer as the press secretary.
4. Scaramucci Described Their Relationship by Saying They Feel Like Brothers at Times
Shortly after Scaramucci was announced as the new communications director, he attended the daily press briefing alongside Sanders. He spoke of his excitement to fill the role and also to attempt to identify the “leakers” within the administration.
Also at the press conference, Scaramucci spoke of his past relationship with Priebus. The two were on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s presidential campaign until he dropped out of the race, which is one of the first times they got to know each other.
Scaramucci described the relationship between him and Priebus by saying sometimes they feel almost as if they’re brothers, adding it’s one where they “rough each other up.” He called Priebus a “good friend” of his and elaborated further on their relationship.
There’s been some speculation in the press about me and Reince so I just want to talk about that very quickly. Reince and I have been personal friends for six years. We are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in a while, which is totally normal for brothers. There’s a lot of people in here who have brothers, and so you get that. But he’s a dear friend. He brought me into the political system. He brought me into the Republican National Committee network. He introduced me to Governor Walker. We’ve spent many times together socially. A lot of people are not aware about this, but after the Romney campaign, I invited Reince into SkyBridge. I think it reflects poorly on Reince that he didn’t take my offer to come in and be our chief operating officer, but I say that in jest obviously.
The brotherly-love feeling between the two may have started during the transition period. Trump had reportedly planned to appoint Scaramucci as the director of his office of public liason, but it was rescinded “at the request of Priebus,” the New York Times reported. Priebus said that he had concerns about Scaramucci’s investments overseas.
An aide to Priebus later clarified to the news outlet that he didn’t block it, but only “tried to slow it down.”
On July 21, Scaramucci and Priebus met up in the White House and an official said that the two “agreed to work together.”
5. Sanders Said at a Press Briefing That Trump ‘Likes’ the Competition Between the Scaramucci & Priebus
At her July 27 press briefing, Sanders was questioned by ABC’s Jon Karl about the strained relationship between Scaramucci and Priebus. She described the two as “rivals,” saying that Trump “likes that type of competition and encourages it.”
“Unlike previous administrations, this isn’t group think,” Sanders said. “We all come and have a chance to voice those ideas, voice those perspectives, and have a lot of healthy competition. And with that competition, you usually get the best results. The president likes that competition. He encourages it.”
A source told The Daily Beast that Scaramucci was given the “green light” to attack Priebus.
Scaramucci himself claimed that he had secured Trump’s “blessing” for his words and actions in a phone call with the president prior to a Thursday morning CNN interview.
The “president is not concerned with Reince’s feelings,” the source added. However, Trump has no interest in personally firing Priebus at this time, preferring to delegate abuse of his own chief of staff—who Trump has been frustrated with for months—to his new comms czar nicknamed “The Mooch.”