Anthony Scaramucci Targets Reince Priebus in War Against Leaks

“150 years ago people would have been hung for these leaks.”

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.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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