Newly-appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday that he and President Donald Trump “have a very, very good idea” who in the White House is leaking information to the press.
“I’ve done a major amount of work over the last five days. I’ve interviewed most of the assistants to the president. I’ve interviewed most of the people in the communications team and the White House,” he told CNN “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo. “And what 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.”
Trump has been vocal since winning the presidency last November about his frustration with leaks that have at times been damaging to his administration. Scaramucci, who was announced last Friday as the incoming communications director, said earlier this week that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will soon launch Justice Department investigations into government leaks.
Inside the White House, Scaramucci said his work has already begun on plugging leaks from within the administration. Upon the publication of his financial disclosure form, which is available to the public upon request, Scaramucci declared on Twitter that "in light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45,” tacking the Twitter handle of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus onto the end of his post.
The cryptic social media post was initially understood to indicate that Scaramucci had blamed Priebus for the release of his disclosure form, an interpretation that the communications director disputed by deleting the post and replacing it with on explaining that he had only meant to indicate that all senior White House officials were involved in the effort to curb leaks.
But Scaramucci stopped short of exonerating Priebus of sharing the financial disclosure form with reporters, instead telling CNN’s Cuomo that “if Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that.” He said he understood that his form was publicly available but that the manner in which it was shared with the press amounted to “dirty pool.”
Without naming names, Scaramucci said the president has been ill-served by some in the West Wing and that as the incoming communications director, he would use his experience from the business world to stop the leakers one way or another.
“Here is what I know, when you’re running a successful company or organization, you can take this human equation to the bank: Underconfidence plus insecurity always equals paranoia and backstabbing,” Scaramucci said. “There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president. That is not their job. Their job is to inject this president into America so that he can explain his views properly and his policies so that we can transform America.”