The blood feud between fired White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and already-infamous Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci reportedly goes back six years and stacks up numerous political bodies in collateral damage.
A juicy timeline of their West Wing war was published late Friday by the Huffington Post, and contains some surprising depth in the level of skullduggery and manipulation surrounding President Donald Trump.
The alleged beef has a narrative of ruthless ambition ala “House of Cards” with all the subtlety of a parking lot disagreement on “The Sopranos.”
Mitt Romney Brought Them Together
Scaramucci and Priebus met in 2011, HuffPo said, when the former was raising money for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. They regarded one another “peaceably” all the way through the Trump campaign. Discord was said to begin during the transition from the Obama administration to Trump’s.
Priebus Soured Trump on Scaramucci’s China Deal
Scaramucci was reportedly so confident he would be named to the office of the public liaison that he immediately arranged to offload his stake in a hedge fund called Skybridge Capital after the election.
He found two buyers, one them China’s HNA Group. Scaramucci also reportedly (and boastfully) made a list of “business leaders” that would support Trump as he took office — 2,500 of them.
Priebus allegedly pinched his nose at the whole deal, telling the president that Scaramucci’s SkyBridge was overvalued and “smelled bad — as if the Chinese might expect favors from within the administration for that inflated price.”
“He played you,” Priebus allegedly told Trump, proven to be excitable by threats. The White House denied this “version” of events to the HuffPo, and did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap on all points in the report.
Scaramucci Turns to Jared Kushner, Who Could Not Help (Because Reminder: He’s Useless)
Scaramucci was not handed the lofty White House position he envisioned, so he reportedly turned to the manicured lawn of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. From HuffPo:
Kushner assured him that he didn’t think Scaramucci was “shady,” adding, “But it’s not what I think that matters.” Priebus had already planted the seed of doubt in Trump’s mind.
Scaramucci is also said to have approached Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who was busy trying to save the job of Stephen Miller (who remains a senior policy advisor),
Mooch’s (Alleged) Russian Revenge
Having accepted defeat, Scaramucci took a VP position at the U.S. Export-Import Bank — still plenty haunted by Priebus’ “Game of Thrones” move.
“Mooch,” as he is known, would soon get payback when Donald Trump Jr. entered the ongoing White House scandal about election tampering with Russia.
“Scaramucci told everyone he spoke to that day, including the president, that he was sure the person who divulged details of the meeting was Priebus,” the HuffPo report said. With no evidence, Scaramucci pointed out to Trump that a slew of leaks had conveniently dodged Priebus directly. And we all know what Scaramucci wants to do to White House leaks.
He was installed as communications director 10 days after the Trump Jr. nightmare, with Trump’s blessing to bypass Priebus as his direct report and come right to Daddy. Scaramucci was also given free rein to reorganize the White House, recently likened to the bug-eating jungle competition show “Survivor.”
And then …
Mooch Mooches His Own Mooch
Considering the thorough and compelling timeline set forth by HuffPo, it would seem Scaramucci had perfectly pulled off his ascent to the position he was promised and robbed of (where have we heard this before)?
And then the New Yorker. If Scaramucci, indeed, toiled behind the scenes to vanquish his enemies and gain the trust of the freewheeling president, then he was willing to admit as much in a mind-blowing interview with the New Yorker.
The Conde Nast publication is essentially the world’s largest hand clutching the world’s largest set of pearls, and Scarmaucci gave it good reason to after a Thursday chat in which he spewed venom for his new coworkers.
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c—.” he said. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f–ing strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
He called Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic,” and directly accused him of being a leak.
“If Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that,” Scaramucci said. “Let me tell you something about myself — I am a straight shooter, and I’ll go right to the heart of the matter.”
Priebus was fired on Friday, and replaced by Secretary of Homeland Security Gen. John Kelly. Another week in the West Wing.