WASHINGTON — White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on Thursday laid bare his rift with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, disparaging him in an expletive-laced interview as a “paranoid schizophrenic” who leaks to the press.
“He didn’t get the hint that I was reporting directly to the president,” Scaramucci told The New Yorker.
Scaramucci was more civil in a morning call to CNN that also criticized his West Wing rival.
“If Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that,” he told CNN.
The Manhasset financier, named last week to lead the White House press team, has threatened to fire subordinates for sharing information with reporters.
He acknowledged his cursed-filled New Yorker interview with a evening tweet.
“I sometimes use colorful language,” Scaramucci posted. “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 wouldn’t say if President Donald Trump has confidence in Priebus, who reportedly fought Scaramucci’s appointment.
“We all serve at the pleasure of the president,” Sanders told reporters, noting “healthy competition” among top aides.
“And with that competition, you usually get the best results,” Sanders said. “The president likes that type of competition and encourages it.”
The feud between Scaramucci and Priebus, chief of staff since Day One of the presidency, spilled into the public late Wednesday. Scaramucci tweeted — and then deleted — a post tagging Priebus and reading, “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept.”
But such financial disclosure forms are publicly available and the Politico reporter who wrote about Scaramucci’s finances said she received it from the Export-Import Bank, not via leak.
Scaramucci then disputed that he was calling for a probe into Priebus by tagging him in the tweet.
“Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45,” he posted.
Priebus has not responded publicly.
In The New Yorker, Scaramucci also insulted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as trying to build his “own brand off the [expletive] strength of the president.”
“They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work,” Scaramucci said.
He predicted Priebus would resign.
On CNN, Scaramucci said his relationship with Priebus may mirror that between biblical brothers Cain and Abel.
“When I said we were brothers from the podium, that’s because we’re rough on each other,” he said. “Some brothers are like Cain and Abel. Other brothers can fight with each other and get along. I don’t know if this is reparable or not. That will be up to the president.”