President Trump’s promise to investigate his inner circle for leaks apparently starts with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
According to the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, newly minted White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci is now asking the FBI to investigate Priebus for allegedly leaking Scaramucci’s personal financial disclosure form — which is a public document — to the beltway media.
In case there's any ambiguity in his tweet I can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Reince for leaking.
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) July 27, 2017
The revelation is particularly stunning, given that Priebus has served as Trump’s Chief of Staff since November of 2016, just shortly after Trump won the 2016 presidential election. In a tweet, Scaramucci accused Priebus, who left his position as chairman of the Republican National Committee to join the Trump White House, of committing a felony by leaking Scarmucci’s financial disclosure form. The tweet has since been deleted, though BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner saved this screenshot:
The reason Scaramucci is particularly sensitive about the release of his public financial disclosure form is likely due to the fact that the form shows he is still actively profiting from his stake in the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, where he was the managing director until recently taking a position at the Ex-Im Bank across the street from the White House until landing a more permanent job within the Trump White House. SkyBridge is currently being sold to both RON Translantic, and HNA Group, which is a Fortune 500 conglomerate based in China.
Scaramucci ordering the FBI to investigate Priebus is a sudden departure from the camaraderie the two apparently had after Trump announced his decision to hire the hedge fund founder as his next White House Communications Director, prompting the immediate resignation of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The AP reported that, following the announcement of Scaramucci’s hiring, Preibus praised Trump for the decision, saying that the two were “very good friends.”
In addition to Priebus, Scaramucci has vowed to “fire everybody” if necessary in order to stop the steady stream of leaks coming from the Trump White House. The promise to fire leakers is right in line with what Trump has been vowing to do since virtually the start of his administration. President Trump is also tasking Attorney General Jeff Sessions with finding and prosecuting leakers in the FBI.
(EDITOR’S NOTE, 1:45 AM ET: This article was amended to note that Scaramucci deleted his accusatory tweet.)
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.