This Scaramucci Guy Seems Pretty Cool, I Guess

Hahahahahahahahaha just kidding he is the wooooooooorst.

[Content Note: Disablism] Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker: Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon. This entire thing really needs to be read in its entirety, but here's an excerpt:
On Wednesday night, I received a phone call from Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director. He wasn't happy. Earlier in the night, I'd tweeted, citing a "senior White House official," that Scaramucci was having dinner at the White House with [Donald] Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and the former Fox News executive Bill Shine. It was an interesting group, and raised some questions. Was Trump getting strategic advice from Hannity? Was he considering hiring Shine? But Scaramucci had his own question—for me.

"Who leaked that to you?" he asked. I said I couldn't give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. "What I'm going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we'll start over," he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he's inherited in his new job. "I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can't help themselves," he said. "You're an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I'm asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it."

..."Is it an assistant to the President?" he asked. I again told him I couldn't say. "O.K., I'm going to fire every one of them, and then you haven't protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks."

I asked him why it was so important for the dinner to be kept a secret. Surely, I said, it would become public at some point. "I've asked people not to leak things for a period of time and give me a honeymoon period," he said. "They won't do it." He was getting more and more worked up, and he eventually convinced himself that Priebus was my source.

"They'll all be fired by me," he said. "I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow. I'll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he'll be asked to resign very shortly." The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn't been invited. "Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac," Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: "'Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.'" (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)

Scaramucci was particularly incensed by a Politico report about his financial-disclosure form, which he viewed as an illegal act of retaliation by Priebus. The reporter said Thursday morning that the document was publicly available and she had obtained it from the Export-Import Bank. Scaramucci didn't know this at the time, and he insisted to me that Priebus had leaked the document, and that the act was "a felony."

"I've called the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice," he told me.

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"The swamp will not defeat him," he said, breaking into the third person. "They're trying to resist me, but it's not going to work. I've done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they're going to have to go fuck themselves."

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. "I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock," he said, speaking of Trump's chief strategist. "I'm not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I'm here to serve the country." (Bannon declined to comment.)
Wow. Okay. So, it's obviously the Bannon quote which has gotten the most attention, because the political press is a shambolic disgrace. But there are three extremely important points here:

1. Threatening to fire people because of their lack of loyalty is classic authoritarianism. Note that he wasn't threatening to fire them strictly because of leaking: He says he asked them for "a honeymoon period" — that is, a temporary pause on leaking. "I've asked people not to leak things for a period of time," Scaramucci tells Lizza. So it isn't the leaking that's the issue, but the lack of loyalty demonstrated by refusing to comply with his short-term moratorium.

2. The new White House Communications Director clearly views a central part of his role as being a general in Trump's war on the press. Calling a reporter to try to intimidate him into giving up a source, and pressuring him by threatening people's jobs if he won't, is not what happens in a healthy democracy.

3. Scaramucci is yet another Trump lackey with zero government experience, and it shows. He has no clue how anything works, which is evidenced by the fact he didn't know his financial disclosure form was publicly available, and further evidenced by the fact that he openly admitted committing a crime!

"The President, Vice President, Counsel to the President, and Deputy Counsel to the President are the only White House individuals who may initiate a conversation with DOJ about a specific case or investigation." Oops.

* * *

Speaking of the president: "The President likes people with backbone. And at the moment, Scaramucci is empowered: We're told the President loved the Mooch quotes. But [Donald] Trump doesn't like being upstaged. 'Mini-me' can't forget the 'Mini' part. Being more Trump than Trump, in Trump's house, is a dangerous game."

Scaramucci has to worry about his job after behaving like a reckless, angry, authoritarian jackass not because he is a liability to the president, but because he's a threat to his ego, as there's only room for one and a half reckless, angry, authoritarian jackasses in the West Wing, but not two.

And from the same piece: "The story that [top Republicans have] been telling themselves and others, about the President growing in office, looks more and more like a fable. Instead, insiders feel the situation is getting worse." Ya fucking think?!

*jumps into Christmas tree*

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