drama in the west wing
Anthony Scaramucci sends cryptic tweet about leaking being a felony to Reince Priebus
After Politico published a piece Wednesday night about new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci still being able to profit from an ownership stake in his investment firm, Scaramucci tweeted that he will contact the FBI about the "leak" of his publicly available financial disclosure — and he tagged Reince Priebus, President Trump's chief of staff, in his message.
This didn't come as a surprise to The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, who tweeted a bombshell:
Politico's report was the first one to reveal details from the disclosure form Scaramucci filed with the Office of Government Ethics, which showed that from Jan. 1, 2016, to the end of June, when he joined the Export-Import Bank, Scaramucci earned $4.9 million from his ownership stake in SkyBridge Capital, plus more than $5 million in salary. Scaramucci founded SkyBridge in 2005, and is still listed on its website as the managing director of the investment firm, Politico reports, even though he's been a government employee for more than a month.
RON Transatlantic and HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate, are in the process of buying the firm, and the sale is being closely watched by federal regulators. A White House adviser told Politico that Scaramucci, a major fundraiser for Trump during his campaign, joined the Export-Import Bank in June as a way to get access to Trump while waiting for SkyBridge's very complicated sale to go through. Politico notes that he had security credentials that allowed him to gain access to Trump whenever he wanted, and could go around senior White House staffers, like Priebus.
Just a few hours after the report came out, Scaramucci tweeted his intentions of contacting the FBI and Justice Department, cryptically tagging Priebus, too:
@Reince45 hasn't responded, and perhaps most shocking of all, neither has @realDonaldTrump.
Update: Scaramucci has deleted his tweet mentioning Priebus, and posted a new message, with a screenshot of an Axios report with the headline, "Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI." "Wrong!" Scaramucci wrote. "Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45."