Anthony Scaramucci became the new White House Communications Director last weekend, and now it’s no longer clear if he’ll still be holding the job by the end of this weekend. In an effort to prove just how intense/serious/eager/boundary-less he is, Scaramucci has spent the past week setting the administration – and himself – on fire. While it was initially assumed to be an act aimed at pleasing Donald Trump, it’s now looking like Scaramucci might actually be this chaotically unhinged.
The clues came early on: the literal kiss he blew to the media when he was first introducing himself. The past tweets he wanted everyone to know he was deleting, gleefully erasing his entire lifetime worldview as if he were on a dare. His strange use of violent metaphors such as “front-stabbing.” But then last night things took a sharp turn from the surreal to the startling when Scaramucci posted a tweet asking the FBI to investigate Reince Priebus for having leaked his financial disclosures (link).
This painted Scaramucci as being stunningly brinksmanlike, as well as bafflingly clueless, as the financial disclosures that surfaced about him were a matter of public record to begin with. Not surprisingly, he went on to argue that his own tweet didn’t really say what it said. But then he doubled down by calling in unexpectedly to CNN this morning to assert that he and Priebus were following the dynamic of Cain and Abel, falling just shy of mentioning the part where Cain murdered Abel. And now it’s gotten even stranger.
Sometime after asking the FBI to investigate Priebus but before vaguely threatening to murder Priebus, it turns out Anthony Scaramucci called up a reporter from the New Yorker and began venting in a manner so unhinged you’d almost think it wasn’t real (link). Scaramucci called Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” while referring to Steve Bannon as performing a sexual act on himself that’s not physically possible.
If this is not an act, then Anthony Scaramucci is imploding in such swift fashion that one has to wonder if he might end up leaving the White House by week’s end in a straitjacket. And if this is indeed somehow all an act, then the mere notion that he’d be willing to take his act this far this fast may be an even more disconcerting sign. Who is this guy? What is going on here? And how did Donald Trump manage to find someone who’s even more unhinged than he is?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report