Scaramucci lashes White House colleagues
Open warfare has erupted inside President Donald Trump’s inner circle as his new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, attacked senior White House colleagues in obscene comments.
Scaramucci blasted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in an article in The New Yorker on Thursday based on a telephone conversation the night before between one of the magazine’s correspondents and Scaramucci.
Amid a stream of vulgar language, the former Wall Street financier named to the communications post last Friday called Priebus a “f***ing paranoid schizophrenic” and accused Bannon of trying to build his own brand “off the f***ing strength of the president”.
In a Twitter message after the article appeared online, Scaramucci said: “I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump’s agenda.”
Asked about the article, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration was focused on healthcare and other items.
“He used some colourful language that I don’t anticipate he’ll do again,” she told reporters. Any apology “needs to happen personally between them,” she said.
Priebus and Bannon had no comment.
Trump himself made no public comment on his aide’s outburst. Some of Trump’s advisers have questioned Priebus’ competence and his position appeared weak. Republicans close to the White House said Trump’s family had also been critical of his chief of staff.
The drama was the latest sign of disarray within the Trump White House even as it tries to advance healthcare and tax reform legislation. The president himself is preoccupied with an investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election and has been fiercely critical in recent days of his own attorney-general, Jeff Sessions.
The scathing remarks by Scaramucci came as he and other Trump loyalists ratcheted up pressure on Priebus, a former Republican National Committee chairman, who does not have years-long ties with Trump.
There has been speculation that Priebus, who steered the party apparatus behind Trump’s unorthodox candidacy in last year’s election, is on his way out because Trump has no major legislative achievements in his first six months in office.