It's Been a Busy News Cycle for 'The Mooch'

New communications chief raises tensions with Reince Priebus
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2017 1:11 PM CDT
It's Been a Busy News Cycle for 'The Mooch'
Anthony Scaramucci, the White House's communications director   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Anthony Scaramucci, aka The Mooch, had his biggest day in the spotlight yet, and the end result doesn't appear to be good news for Reince Priebus. The new White House communications chief had a chance to ease tensions with President Trump's chief of staff in a memorable CNN interview, but instead he seems to have raised them. At one point, he compared their relationship to that of Cain and Abel and at another he declared, "If Reince wants to explain he's not a leaker, let him do that." Coverage:

  • How this began: On Wednesday, Scaramucci issued a tweet railing against felonious leakers after Politico reported on his financial disclosure statement. And he tagged Priebus, seemingly accusing him of being the source. It emerged later that the financial disclosure was, in fact, public information, and Scaramucci deleted the tweet. More here.

  • Quite an interview: Scaramucci called in to CNN's New Day program Thursday morning and spoke for more than 30 minutes. The network's Chris Cillizza highlights the "most eye-popping quotes" here and limits himself to 35. Two big ones: Scaramucci and Trump have a "very, very good idea" of who the leakers are in the White House, and "those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago, people would have been hung."
  • Paterno? Another getting attention, as in this HuffPo list, is his quoting of the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno on the importance of honor in the workplace. Critics think it was an odd choice because of this.
  • Boss's approval: Scaramucci tells the Washington Post he called in to discuss Priebus and the leaks with the personal approval of Trump. A separate analysis at the Post thinks the new "war on leaks" is off to a disastrous start.
  • Pressure: All this speaks to the growing pressure on Priebus, who seems to have fewer and fewer allies in the West Wing, reports Politico. It notes that Kellyanne Conway, given a chance to exonerate him as a leaker, instead told Fox, "I will just tell you that leakers are easier to figure out than they may think. This West Wing is a very small place.”
  • A felony? Scaramucci denied his initial tweet was meant to accuse Priebus of a felony, but most saw it otherwise. Two examples of headlines in conservative outlets: "Scaramucci Just Accused Priebus of a Felony. For No Reason" (Hot Air). And: "Anthony Scaramucci Just Accused Reince Priebus of a Felony. For No Reason" (Weekly Standard). At the liberal Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall makes the case that Scaramucci's "swaggering" but incorrect outburst is "Trumpism distilled."
  • Hybrid: This might be the day's best description of Scaramucci: "He is a fantastic character, like if a Goodfellas persona escaped into your Netflix queue and sweet-talked his way into House of Cards," writes Jack Holmes at Esquire.
(More Anthony Scaramucci stories.)

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