The very name “Scaramucci” means skirmishes in Italian. After being exiled from Washington six months ago, Anthony Scaramucci is back in the spotlight skirmishing, defending Donald Trump at Davos, appearing on the Sunday talk shows, and last but certainly not least, giving interviews describing his brief tenure (11 days, he clarifies, not 10 as erroneously reported) as White House Communications Director. To hear Scaramucci tell it, not even Machiavelli experienced court intrigues as severe as what the Mooch had to deal with. First, the evil doing of Reince Priebus, whom he calls “Rancid Penis.” Vanity Fair:
“He gets this whole nefarious research packet over to The New York Times.They love this stuff. Boom: HNA [Chinese company slated to buy Scaramucci’s interest in Skybridge] is this mysterious, nefarious company. Then he goes to [Steve] Bannon [then Trump’s chief strategist] and he says, ‘I’m gonna get you on the National Security Council if that’s where you want to go, but you’ve got to join forces with me and take out Scaramucci.’” (A source close to Bannon said it was “laughable” to think that he agreed to join forces with Priebus against Scaramucci to get on the N.S.C.) Scaramucci continued, “I helped Bannon through the three months that he was on the campaign, and we had a good relationship. But Bannon turns on me, because Bannon is ultimately railing against the swamp, but he’s actually a cock of the swamp. He’s the creature from the Black Lagoon,Bannon. He acts more swamp-like than any person that’s ever become a Washingtonian. So for all of his railing on the swamp, he is literally the pig in George Orwell’s Animal Farm that stands on his two legs the minute he gets power. He is the creature from the Black Lagoon. […]
“They’re Richie Cunningham and they’re Opie from The Andy Griffith Show, but they’re the fucking Sith Lord behind your back. They’re hitting you with a lightsaber behind your back.” In fact, according to Scaramucci, Priebus disinvited Scaramucci’s parents from the January 22 swearing-in ceremony for the new White House staff.
While reviling Priebus and Bannon thusly, Scaramucci describes himself in the humblest of terms as a willing and loyal footman to Donald Trump, a man with “the goods” that Trump so desperately needed in order to save his presidency from those who would derail it, not being true believers as Scaramucci was.
By mid-July the script changed again. [Scaramucci] who had supported Scott Walker and Jeb Bush and suffered the resulting vicissitudes, seemed poised for a White House post. “Now, all of a sudden, I’m making a detour into the West Wing, because the president realizes that he’s got a huge problem on his hands,” Scaramucci said. “Go back [to July] and look at the news cycles. What was going on was absolute berserkazoid craziness: internecine warfare, leaks every 13 seconds, Bannon leaking on everybody, Priebus leaking on everybody, total chaos in the White House, total disorganization.”
Scaramucci to the rescue. But first, he has to deal with the Creature From The Black Lagoon, a fire breathing Bannon. They grappled thusly:
He says, ‘Hey, you want to know something? You want to know what your chances are to become the comms director this morning here at the White House? You want to know what your chances are?’ I said, ‘What are my chances, Stephen?’ [Replied Bannon]: ‘Zero! You got that, man? Zero. You got it? Zero.’ I said, ‘Zero, O.K., I didn’t realize that the word ‘president’ was in front of your last name, Stephen, because if it was, if ‘president’ was in front of your last name, my chances would be less than zero.’ I said, ‘But the guy who has ‘president’ in front of his last name, I kind of have 100 percent. Now what do you want to do? Do you want to continue to fight with me, because we can fight all day and all night now that I’m in the White House with you? Or we can declare peace and work alongside each other to help the president with his agenda. What do you want to do?’”
Bannon informed Scaramucci that he was in over his head, particularly with respect to Russia. Bannon assured him, “You won’t know how to handle it properly. You won’t know how to communicate it.” Bannon offered him a number of other jobs but to no avail.
On July 21, they headed into the Oval Office to see Trump. “He’s hot. Jared is in the office, Ivanka, me, Sarah [Huckabee Sanders], Hope [Hicks], and the two jamokes. [Bannon and Priebus] The president is hot. He says, ‘Scaramucci is going to come in, he’s going to be the comms director.’ He’s dictating a press release to Sarah who is writing it all down, and then he turns to Priebus and he says, ‘I don’t want him reporting to you. He’s going to report directly to me. I don’t want him tainted with your stench. I know the two of you guys have been leaking on me and leaking on other people in the administration, and I want it to stop, and this guy’s in charge now. He’s going to fix the Comms Department; he’s going to fire the leakers.’ They are now super pissed. They walk out. I go the other way with Sarah, and then Sarah’s as white as a ghost. I’m getting the stern looks of anger and hatred from Sean Spicer. [who resigned on the spot]
Then there was the simple tweet about Scaramucci having dinner with the Trumps, Bill Shine [Fox News executive] and Sean Hannity. To Scaramucci, the tweet indicated a leak, and the idea of a leak on his watch so incensed him that it led to the pyrotechnically profane conversation with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza. Scaramucci told Lizza that Reince Priebus was a “paranoid schizophrenic” and that he, Scaramucci, “wasn’t Steve Bannon. I’m not trying to suck my own cock.” Lizza told Scaramucci that he was going to publish the story and Scaramucci alleges at this time that he told Lizza, “I’ll get you ten other stories. I’ll fly you around on Air Force One.” Lizza says to that, “I’m afraid that as with so much that comes out of his mouth, this is another lie.”)
Priebus went out one side of the revolving door, Kelly came in the other, and the first thing he did was to fire Scaramucci, who in looking back characterizes his brief White House tenure as a “painful” and “unbelievably phenomenal experience.”
“You want to talk about the education of Anthony Scaramucci? I learned that the swamp is probably a gold plated cesspool with no drain. You understand what I’m saying? You can’t drain the fucking thing.”
Thus ended the saga of Anthony Scaramucci, Creature From The Gold Plated Cesspool and Minister of Politesse in the mis-administration of Donald Trump.