Thursday, July 27, 2017

Another day, more Trump White House chaos

New communications director Anthony Scaramucci made his big splash founding Sky Bridge Capital. Earlier this year, friends helped him get a job at the Export-Import Bank. It was always intended to be a short-term proposition, a means of bringing him into closer proximity with the the Trump orbit.

Well, now he's pretty darn near the orb around which everyone in Squirrel-Hair World orbits, and he seems to have gotten the hang of what you do in such a position: foment chaos and ill will.

He, of course, is on a rampage against leakers. He has been making Obama-era holdovers the focus of his inquiry into the matter.

But now, he wants to pin a big leak on Chief of Staff Reince Preibus - without a shred of evidence:

Scaramucci, it seemed, was trying to shoot the king—or at least publicly frame him. And he wasn’t shy about telling others at the White House that he believed Priebus had leaked the documents, though he couldn’t provide evidence to support his claims. Still, Scaramucci vowed to make Priebus pay.
The plan, however, had several flaws. The most significant: Scaramucci didn’t just lack evidence that Priebus was behind the leak—he lacked evidence that there had even been a leak in the first place.
As Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos reported late Wednesday night in the New York Times:

Mr. Scaramucci filed the disclosure form in connection with his previous, short-lived job with the Trump administration at the Export-Import Bank. Under federal law, anyone can request such a report on a government website 30 days after its receipt.
Mr. Scaramucci’s report says it was filed on June 23, which means it could be publicly released by the bank on July 23, or last Sunday. Politico did not indicate whether it obtained the report through such a regular request.
Asked why he thought the report had been leaked illegally, Mr. Scaramucci responded by text: “They aren’t in process yet.” But when told his form could be released on July 23, he did not respond further.
There was a reason Scaramucci didn't respond further: There had been no leak. The Politicoreporter, Lorraine Woellert, obtained Scaramucci's disclosures by making a routine request to the Ex-Im bank for the form 278e that Scaramucci completed before working there. Woellert tweeted:"Mr @Scaramucci's Form 278e is publicly available from ExIm. Just ask."
If Scaramucci didn’t respond to the Times, he did respond—where else?—on Twitter. Scaramucci tweeted an Axios piece headlined: “Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI.” Scaramucci denied the claim: “Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. ‪@Reince45.”
This guy fits right in.

UPDATE: If you want a real taste of the Scaramucci style, check out this WaPo account of his sit-down with CNN's Chris Cuomo. And I thought Squirrel-Hair had a wild way of expressing himself.

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