White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci blasted rivals within President Donald Trump’s inner circle in an obscenity-laden interview published Thursday.
Less than a week into his new job, Scaramucci, a Wall Street hedge fund founder, delivered an astonishing tirade against White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, chief strategist to the president, while speaking with the New Yorker magazine.
Scaramucci labelled Priebus “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic,” and accused Priebus of blocking him for months from joining the White House staff. Priebus also leaked information about him to reporters, Scaramucci alleged.
The interview took place late Wednesday in a telephone call that Scaramucci initiated, New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza wrote.
A relative political novice, Scaramucci did not ask for the call to be on background or off the record, the New Yorker reported.
In an apparent attempt at damage control, Scaramucci tweeted late Thursday: “I sometimes use colourful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump’s agenda,” including the hashtag for Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again.”
“I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won’t happen again,” he added a short while later.
During the interview, Scaramucci said that he was not seeking media attention in his White House role.
“I’m not Steve Bannon. I’m not trying to suck my own cock. I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country,” Scaramucci was quoted as saying.
The background photo on Scaramucci’s Twitter page shows him standing behind a seated Trump in the Oval Office, with both smiling broadly.
Former White House spokesman Sean Spicer resigned immediately on July 21 when Scaramucci’s appointment became public.
Sarah Sanders, Spicer’s former deputy and successor, was asked Thursday before the New Yorker interview was posted, about reported tensions between Priebus and Scaramucci.
“I think the president, as always, enjoys healthy competition and conversation,” she said, “and he sees that as such.”
Asked if Trump still has confidence in Priebus, Sanders replied: “We all serve at the pleasure of the president.”
She described the Trump White House as having “a lot of different perspectives, because the president hires the very best people.
“They’re not always going to agree. … The people that are here are here because they love the president, they love this country and they want to see the best things happen. And sometimes you’re going to have different ideas come to the table.”