White House communications chief threatens action on Trump administration leaks

Newly-appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is threatening to get the FBI involved in a crackdown on leaks from the Trump administration.

Mr Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, said in a television interview that he has a "very good idea who the senior leakers are", adding that he had talked to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and to his "buddies" in the FBI about the matter.

In a tweet about his "leaked" financial documents late on Wednesday, Mr Scaramucci conspicuously mentioned the Twitter handle of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Mr Scaramucci later deleted that tweet and said he had only mentioned Mr Priebus to show that all senior leaders are taking the leak crackdown seriously.

White House communications chief threatens action on Trump administration leaks

The since-deleted tweet read: "In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony, I will be contacting @FBI and the @JusticeDept #swamp @Reince45"

Mr Scaramucci's financial disclosure was not leaked at all. It was released after a public records request by a Politico reporter.

Although he is new to the White House, Mr Scaramucci had been employed at a senior level by the Export-Import Bank since June 19. After 30 days, the financial disclosure forms filed by senior administration officials are subject to public records requests.

The issue of leaks has weighed heavily on US President Donald Trump as his administration tries to navigate questions about contacts some of his presidential campaign associates may have had with Russian government officials.

The recent revelation that Mr Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with a Russian government lawyer has magnified those questions and fuelled Trump's frustration over leaks to the media.

Scaramucci told CNN that officials sometimes "leak things to reporters to help shape policy". But he said he wants to stop what he calls "nefarious, unnecessary, backstabbing, palace intrigue-like leaks".

Asked what he meant by including Mr Priebus, Mr Scaramucci said: "If Reince wants to explain he's not the leaker, he can do that."

At his White House debut last Friday, Mr Scaramucci addressed reports of a contentious relationship with Mr Priebus, saying that they are like brothers who "rough each other up a little".

Mr Priebus told The Associated Press last week that he supports Mr Scaramucci "100%", despite reportedly trying to prevent him from getting an administration position.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, and her husband, powerful senior aide Mr Kushner, have known Mr Scaramucci for years from New York and pushed for his hiring.

Mr Scaramucci notably said he reports directly to the president, not to the chief of staff. That is a highly unusual arrangement for a communications director and a possible reflection that Mr Priebus' standing with Mr Trump is often uncertain.

Mr Trump's first White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, resigned last week with the news that Mr Scaramucci was being brought in as communications director.

More on this topic

EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’

Elijah Cumming, chairman of US committee investigating Trump, dies aged 68Elijah Cumming, chairman of US committee investigating Trump, dies aged 68

‘See you at the polls’: Trump and Pelosi in war of words‘See you at the polls’: Trump and Pelosi in war of words

Twitter: Accounts of world leaders ‘not entirely’ above the rulesTwitter: Accounts of world leaders ‘not entirely’ above the rules

More in this Section

Trump resort chosen to host next year’s G7 summitTrump resort chosen to host next year’s G7 summit

Extinction Rebellion expresses ‘sadness’ over Tube stunt fall-outExtinction Rebellion expresses ‘sadness’ over Tube stunt fall-out

EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’

Duckenfield had opportunity to change Hillsborough match plans, court toldDuckenfield had opportunity to change Hillsborough match plans, court told


Lifestyle

Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner