Scaramucci lobs grenades in already chaotic White House
WASHINGTON (AP) — New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci went after chief of staff Reince Priebus today as a suspected "leaker" within the West Wing in a pull-no-punches interview that laid bare the personality clashes and internal turmoil of Donald Trump's presidency.
"The fish stinks from the head down," Scaramucci said after calling in to CNN for an interview he said was authorized by Trump, the only person to whom Scaramucci reports. A say-anything New Yorker like his boss, Scaramucci challenged Priebus to come forward and say publicly he's not a leaker.
In the clearest sign yet the president and his new communications director are cut from the same cloth, Scaramucci has spent the past 12 hours publicly complaining about the "leak" of a public document, speculating on Twitter and calling in to television shows. He's shown no hesitation to enlist what he describes as his "buddies" at the FBI to investigate anyone he believes is damaging the White House.
And he's openly aired differences between himself and Priebus, comparing their relationship to that of brothers who are "rough on each other" and invoking Cain and Abel. One of those biblical brothers murdered the other.
"I don't know if this is repairable or not – that will be up to the president," Scaramucci said of his differences with Priebus.
It all appears to signal what could be a new and even less stable phase in Trump's young presidency, with considerable energy devoted to palace intrigue and internal power struggles.
And it comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill are having trouble advancing the president's agenda and as investigators probe allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the election last fall.