There now follows a transcript of the remarks made by Mr Anthony “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandago?” Scaramucci this morning on the American television channel CNN. Former Wall Street personage Scaramucci is the new White House Communications director. In this role he has in comparison already made Sean Spicer, the ousted spokesman for Donald Trump, look as dignified as veteran newsman Walter Cronkite. The interview Scaramucci did this week with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, who dealt with him brilliantly, has already gone viral. Today he somehow outdid himself.
A lot of weird stuff happens in the Trump White House. But even by the usual jaw-dropping standards of that place, this latest row is strange. On Wednesday, Scaramucci wrongly accused “senior leakers” of leaking information about scrutiny of his financial affairs. There was no “leak” and the “mooch” seems to have misunderstood the official process for the release of documents. Nonetheless, he copied in Trump’s chief of staff – Reince Priebus – to the tweets alleging chicanery, which looked an awful lot like he allegation that Priebus is a leaker. Scaramucci warns of a federal investigation into leaks. This behaviour does not normally happen in a normal White House. This is not a normal White House.
That being the case, as you do, in imitation mini-me Trump-style Scarammuci phoned into a television station this morning to put over his side of the story live on air.
Here is his monologue on CNN:
“I want to reset at zero, but I want you to know I spent about 15 minutes on the phone talking with the president of the United States, who has given me his full support and full blessing. And I’m going to read you something, Chris, and you bear with me. And the president also told me, if you’re nice to me in this segment, he’ll let me come back on the show. Is that cool? So why don’t you let me talk for a little bit and then you can ask me questions. But this is super, super important to the country.
Now, whether you agree with the president or disagree with the president, you have to love the institution of the presidency. You have to love the office and love our country. What is going on right now, 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. And what the president and I would like to tell everybody: We have a very, very good idea who the leakers are, who the senior leakers are in the White House. We’ll get to that in a second.
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What I also want to say is that we are working together, the president and myself and other members of his team and law enforcement, to undercut and undercover — or out, if you will — the leakers in the entire country. As the president would say in his own words, the White House leakers are small potatoes. I’ll talk to you about a few leaks that happened last night that I find reprehensible, but the White House leaks are small potatoes relative to things that are going on with leaking things about Syria or North Korea or leaking things about Iraq. Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous, 150 years ago people would be put to death.
Chris, you’re from New York, I’m from New York, the president is from New York; we had dinner last night; I sat next to the first lady. I love the president. I’ve said that. I know the press wants to ridicule me for saying it six times on the podium, but we started out as friends. I am not a politician. I’m an American businessman and entrepreneur that has built two businesses. And I try to play it straight with people.
The president is trying to play it straight with people, which is why he has 140 or 125 social media followers, because they want to hear it straight from the president. And I said to the president this morning, I can’t afford to be a sycophant, sir, I have to talk to you as a friend so I can help you with this problem. So what I want to say to you is I understand the law. I know there was a public disclosure mechanism in my financial forms.
What I’m upset about is the process and the junk pool, the dirty pool, Chris, in terms of the way this stuff is being done, and the leaking won’t stop. I can’t have a couple of friends up from Fox & Friends and Sean Hannity, who’s one of my closest friends, to dinner with the president and his first lady without it being leaked in seven minutes.
It’s absolutely, completely and totally reprehensible. And as you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, and that’s me and the president. I don’t like the activity that’s going on in the White House. I don’t like what they’re doing to my friend. I don’t like what they’re doing to the president of the United States or their fellow colleagues in the West Wing.
Now, if you want to talk about the staff, we have had odds, we have had differences. When I said we are brothers from the podium, that’s because we’re rough — some brothers are like Cain and Abel; other brothers can fight with each other and get along. The president is the chief of staff. He’s responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the White House, Chris, which is why I put that tweet out last night.
When the journalists who actually know who the leakers are, like Ryan Lizza, they know the leakers, they know, I respect them for not telling me because I understand and respect journalistic integrity. However, when I put out a tweet and I put Reince’s name in the tweet, they’re all making the assumption that it’s him because journalists know who the leakers are. So if Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that.
But let me tell you something about myself: I am a straight shooter. I’ll go right to the heart of the matter. So I’m done talking. You can ask me questions. But be nice on the segment, Chris, because this is a very serious matter of interest to all of America.”
This really happened. It is not a spoof.