White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci appeared to attack Reince Priebus on Thursday, challenging the president’s chief of staff to prove that he is not the source for the administration’s leaks to the press.
“If Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that,” Scaramucci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “Let me tell you something about myself, I’m a straight shooter. I’ll go right to the heart of the matter.” He also cited disgraced Penn State coach Joe Paterno in a quote about honor.
The extraordinary segment came just hours after Scaramucci published a now-deleted tweet that seemed to suggest Priebus was behind a leak of his financial information to Politico. It turned out the financial disclosure was publicly available.
At one point, he invoked the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel to describe his relationship with Priebus. After years of sibling rivalry, Cain murdered Abel.
“Some brothers are like Cain and Abel,” Scaramucci said. “Other brothers can fight with each other and get along. I don’t know if this is reparable or not. That will be up to the president.”
He also claimed the leaks amounted to a treasonous crime that 150 years ago would have resulted in punishment by death.
Scaramucci was named to the top communications post on Friday.