Scaramucci deflects questions on White House leaks to Priebus
The White House communications director is under fire for a tweet he wrote.
Byby DAVID CAPLAN and JOHN VERHOVEK
July 27, 2017, 1:13 PM
• 4 min read
-- White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is deflecting questions about leaks inside the White House, suggesting that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus should be the one to clarify the situation.
"If Reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that. Let me tell you about myself," Scaramucci told CNN's Chris Cuomo this morning in a phone interview. "People know my history between me and Reince. I can speak for my own actions. He's going to need to speak for his own actions."
Also, Scaramucci implied that President Trump may veto a Russia sanctions bill that recently passed the House.
Scaramucci on Wednesday night wrote in a now-deleted cryptic tweet that the "leak" of his financial disclosure form is a "felony," adding that he would be contacting the FBI and the Department of Justice.
"In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony, I will be contacting @FBI and the @JusticeDept #swamp @Reince45," read the tweet, posted at 10:41 p.m.
Scaramucci, a former Wall Street financier, was referring to a report by Politico on his financial disclosure, which was filed with the Office of Government Ethics. According to the report, Scaramucci earned $4.9 million from his stake in the investment firm SkyBridge Capital and had a salary of more than $5 million from January 2016 to June 2017.
But as others have pointed out, the disclosure form is a public document.
WikiLeaks, for example, tweeted, "Your financial disclosure report is a public document," with an image of instructions on how to obtain such a report.
The tweet also raised eyebrows because he included Priebus' Twitter handle.
Scaramucci posted a new tweet at 12:47 a.m. that called for the FBI and DOJ to investigate Preibus: "Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45," he wrote.
Late Wednesday the DOJ released a statement, agreeing with Scaramucci that leaks, in general, are an issue.
"We have seen an astonishing increase in the number of leaks of classified national security information in recent months," DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said. "We agree with Anthony that these staggering number of leaks are undermining the ability of our government to function and to protect this country. Like the attorney general has said, 'Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail,' and we will aggressively pursue leak cases wherever they may lead."
At a press briefing last week, Scaramucci said there was no friction between him and Priebus.
"Reince and I have been personal friends for six years," he said last Friday. "We are a little bit like brothers, where we rough each other up once in a while, which is totally normal for brothers. There's a lot of people in here who have brothers, and so you get that. But he's a dear friend. He brought me into the political system. He brought me into the Republican National Committee network."