WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The Trump White House is at war with itself as it faces both political problems, like the failure of health care, and now a communications one.
In an expletive filled interview with a reporter from The New Yorker, new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci threatened to “fire everyone” to get to the bottom of leaks and unloaded on Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, calling him “an (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” adding “he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.”
Scaramucci also lit into White House chief strategist Steve Bannon saying, “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the (expletive) strength of the president.” He also referenced Bannon performing a sex act on himself.
The interview laid bare the deep divisions, distrust, and infighting that makes it even more difficult to serve the president’s agenda.
One Republican congressman calls it character assassination.
“What even bothers me the most is just the willingness to take down people, to attack people, to attack Reince Priebus, to attack Steve Bannon just to basically a random reporter. It’s just character assassination,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois.
Thursday night, Scaramucci tried to brush off his remarks on Twitter.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 27, 2017
I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won’t happen again.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 28, 2017
White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Scaramucci on Fox News Thursday night.
“I think he’s passionate about the president – it sometimes gets the best of him,” she said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president condones in-house rivalries but would not say if he still had confidence in Priebus.
“We all serve at the pleasure of the president. If it gets to a place where that isn’t the case, he’ll let you know,” she said.
Priebus has declined to comment on Scaramucci’s remarks.
Scaramucci’s friends say he has been frustrated by what he believes were Priebus’ attempts to block him from joining the administration.
The in-fighting in the Trump Administration isn’t confined to the West Wing staff, it extends into the president’s cabinet as well.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been under fire from the president himself because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.
President Trump’s public rebuke of his own AG has raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill.
“The way that Jeff Sessions has been treated – it did not go over well with Republicans in the United States Senate,” said CBS News Contributor Bob Schieffer.
Sessions has said he will not resign unless the president asks him to do so.