Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday, White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said that he is getting to the bottom of who has been leaking information to the press from the West Wing.
“One of the big problems that I’m discovering,” said Scaramucci, “is that senior people are really the guys doing the leaking and they ask junior people to leak for them.”
Scaramucci added, “I’m very proud to be reporting directly to the president so I can hermetically seal off the [communications] team from this sort of nonsense.”
The first casualty of Scaramucci’s crackdown on leakers was senior assistant press secretary Michael Short, who has since claimed that he offered to step down of his own accord. Short’s departure on Tuesday came as leakers told Fox News that Republican National Committee officials who followed Spicer and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to the White House were worried about losing their jobs.
“We let somebody go yesterday, but I’ve told people that if there’s a civil war, and people are fighting internally, we have to dial that down,” Scaramucci said. “I don’t think you can let people go … just for the sake of letting them go. I think we have to give them … some level of amnesty to see if they’ll stop and work together. But I’ll move very quickly if they cannot do that, because I have the president’s authority to do so.”
Fox reported that Scaramucci put out a tweet on Wednesday evening that he planned to contact the FBI and the Justice Department, because his own financial disclosure information had been leaked. But the tweet has since been deleted.
Scaramucci told Hannity that leaks from other executive agencies came from “political holdovers from the Obama administration that want to put a hurt on the Trump administration.” With that in mind, he plans to meet with communications people from those agencies in an effort to “curtail leaks on their side.”
Following Scaramucci’s appearance on “Hannity,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores issued the following statement:
“We have seen an astonishing increase in the number of leaks of classified national security information in recent months. We agree with Anthony that these staggering number of leaks are undermining the ability of our government to function and to protect this country. Like the Attorney General has said, ‘whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail,’ and we will aggressively pursue leak cases wherever they may lead.”
Anthony Scaramucci (born January 6, 1964), nicknamed the Mooch, is an American political figure and financier. Scaramucci is currently serving as the White House Communications Director.
Scaramucci began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he worked from 1989 to 1996 and held positions in its Investment Banking, Equities, and Private Wealth Management divisions. Scaramucci left Goldman in 1996 to launch Oscar Capital Management with his colleague Andrew Boszhardt. In 2005, Scaramucci founded global investment firm SkyBridge Capital, serving as co-managing partner before selling the company in early 2017 to take a role in the Trump administration.
Following the 2016 election, Scaramucci served on the Presidential-Transition Team Executive Committee.On January 12, 2017, President-elect Trump announced his intent to appoint Scaramucci Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs. Scaramucci’s swearing-in was reportedly delayed by an extended review of his finances by the Office of Government Ethics, although the ethics office denied that clearance was necessary before making White House appointments. Ultimately, George Sifakis was appointed instead.
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