Thursday is arguably the most consequential day in Trump’s six months as president, which means that it shouldn’t be surprising at all that it is completely chaotic.
The trouble began late Wednesday evening, when Trump Mini-Me Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci sent out this since deleted tweet, after Politico posted a story claiming that the new White House communications director stood to make millions from his old investment firm: “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept. #swamp @Reince45.”
Given the odd decision to tag beleaguered White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, it seemed clear that Scaramucci was accusing Priebus of leaking his financial disclosure. There was only one problem: The disclosure is publicly available via request.
But Scaramucci hasn’t backed down. Instead, he’s continued to argue that his relationship with Priebus, who fought his appointment as communications director, may not be salvageable and that (albeit in a somewhat disguised and very passive aggressive manner) Priebus is the person responsible for many of the White House’s most damaging leaks.
Scaramucci then escalated the situation by calling into CNN’s New Day, which is a morning show and not a televangelical program, to make it abundantly clear that he was not letting this go.
During the call he said that he knew the identities of the senior leakers in the White House. He said that “150 years ago people would have been hung for these leaks,” which is not true. In what appeared to be another dig at Reince, he said, “Some people in the White House think it’s their job to save America from the president.”
“Some brothers are like Cain and Abel,” he added. “I don’t know if this is repairable or not.”
Scaramucci has been rumored as a possible replacement for Priebus as chief of staff, and so it’s possible that Scaramucci sees this as a win-win. By calling into CNN, he’s showing his boss that he is loyal and that he won’t take (true) stories from the media lying down. At the same time he is signaling to Priebus that things are about to get very ugly for him—he might even be [sic] hung! He’s reading from the Trump playbook, in other words, doing to Priebus what Trump is doing to Jeff Sessions. But even by the standards of this incredibly chaotic and divisive White House, this is wild: The new communications director has all but declared war on the chief of staff.