The president’s new communications director took to Twitter late on Wednesday night to tweet — and then delete — a message about leaking, a point of much contention in the new administration.
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday morning that a tweet he sent the night before about leaks was not a veiled threat to chief of staff Reince Priebus.
“In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept, he tweeted Wednesday night, adding, “#swamp @Reince45.”
Scaramucci was referring to a story published by Politico, which reported that the new White House communications director continues to profit from the sale of his hedge fund SkyBridge Capital. The financial disclosure forms, however, are publicly available, notes the Politico report, which links to them. CNN has not independently obtained the disclosure form.
Asked if he was accusing Priebus of leaking, he told CNN, “I am not. I am saying senior officials are working on this together.”
This echoes a tweet he sent overnight as well.
“Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks.@Reince45,” he tweeted in response to an Axios article’s headline that read, “Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI.”
Speaking to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” Thursday, Scaramucci said Priebus can address leaks himself.
“When I put out a tweet and I put Reince’s name in a tweet, they’re all make the assumption that it’s him because journalists know who the leakers are,” Scaramucci said. “So if Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that. But let me tell you about myself. I’m a straight shooter and I’ll go right to the heart of the matter.”
Scaramucci also blasted leakers in the administration and said “the President and I would like to tell everybody we have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are, who the senior leakers are in the White House.”
Then, referring to leaks about US foreign policy, Scaramucci said, “Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago, people would have actually been hung for those types of leaks.”
Scaramucci and Priebus have long had a strained relationship, and sources have told CNN that both Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon fiercely opposed Scaramucci’s hiring as communications director.
When he joined the administration late last week, Scaramucci pushed back on reports of any discord inside the West Wing, especially about the reports of a tense relationship with Priebus.
“Reince and I have been personal friends for six years,” Scaramucci said Friday. “We are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in a while. But he’s a dear friend.”
Still, Scaramucci said he would report “directly” to the President, and that he and Priebus would work together.