White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci Thursday called out White House chief of staff Reince Priebus during a CNN interview, saying that if the former Republican National Committee chairman "wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that."
His comments came following a Wednesday night tweet he posted — and then removed — claiming that he was the victim of a leak of his financial information. He also threatened to take the matter to the FBI and the Justice Department.
He added Priebus' Twitter name to the tweet, causing speculation that he was accusing the president's chief of staff of leaking the information about him.
Politico reported Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital, had a net worth of as much as $85 million. It cited a financial disclosure dated June 23 that he filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. His tweet, which was later deleted, made no mention of the Politico article, and the document hadn't yet been posted publicly by the ethics agency.
On Thursday, Scaramucci, in a telephone interview, admitted to CNN's "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo that he and Priebus have had odds, even though he referred to the two of them from the podium as "brothers."
"Some brothers are like Cain and Abel," said Scaramucci. "I don't know if this is repairable or not; that will be up to the president. He's the chief of staff."
Priebus, he continued, is responsible for helping him with his mission to uncover White House leakers, so that is why he tagged him on his tweet Wednesday night.
"[Journalists] know who the leakers are," said Scaramucci, and he respects them for not saying who the leakers are "because I understand journalistic integrity."
However, when he put out the tweet Wednesday night, journalists made the assumption Priebus was the leaker "because journalists know who the leakers are. If Reince wants to explain he's not a leaker, let him do that."
Scaramucci also said Thursday that he and Trump "have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are, who the senior leakers are in the White House."
"I can't have a couple of friends up from 'Fox & Friends' and Sean Hannity, who is one of my closest friends to dinner with the president and the first lady without it being leaked in seven minutes," said Scaramucci.
"It's absolutely completely and totally reprehensible. As you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. I can tell you two fish that don't stink. That's me and the president."
He continued that he and Trump, along with other team members and law enforcement are working together to uncover who the leakers are not only in the White House, but in the country.
"The White House leakers are small potatoes," said Scaramucci. "I'll tell you about a few leaks that happened last night that I find reprehensible. The White House leaks are small potatoes relative with things going on about leaking things about Syria or North Korea or Iraq.
"Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago people would have been hung for those types of leaks."
Scaramucci said he and Trump are friends from New York, and he loves Trump.
"We started out as friends," he said. "I'm not a politician. I'm an American businessman and entrepreneur that built two businesses. I try to play it straight with people. The president is trying to play it straight with people, which is why he has 140 million social media followers, because they want to hear it straight from the president."
Scaramucci said he spoke with Trump this morning, and told him he couldn't "afford to be a sycophant" to him, but was talking to him as a friend so he can help with the problems.
"I know there was a public disclosure mechanism in my financial forms," said Scaramucci. "What I'm upset about is the process and the junk pool, the dirty pool, Chris, in terms of the way this stuff is being done, and the leaking won't stop."
He also denied that the leak investigation is a distraction from what's going on with the White House.
"How is it a distraction," said Scaramucci. "We have to clamp down the leaks...I can't have dinner with [Trump] five minutes later, journalists know I'm having dinner. Is that how we should be running the White House?"
Scaramucci Thursday also denied he's benefiting from Sky Bridge.
"I'm entitled, because of my ownership, I'm entitled to some residual profit," he said. "I'm happy to fully disclose that. Because they're releasing all this information, trying to hit me — tried to foul me from coming into the West Wing.
"Now that I'm there, they're trying to figure out how to eject me from the West Wing. My official start date got changed. I was supposed to start Aug. 15. They got me effective yesterday to try to protect me."
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