Scaramucci: ‘We’re Going to Fix’ White House Leaks, ‘Not Fair to the President’
New communications director promises to end unauthorized disclosures, even if it means firing staff
White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said he will act to stop the flow of leaks from inside the White House because “it’s not fair to the president” — as well as to America and others in the government — during an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday.”
The newly appointed communications director described his plans to revamp and fine-tune how his staff will deliver President Donald Trump’s message to the American people and push his agenda forward. Addressing the deluge of leaks originating from both the White House itself and the intelligence communities stocked with holdovers from former President Barack Obama’s administration, Scaramucci told host Chris Wallace he is “going to fix it.”
"We'll see how [White House staff] do with me at the helm. If the leaks don't stop, I'm going to pare down the staff because it's just not right for — I think it's not fair to the president, it's actually not fair to America, or the people in the government," Scaramucci said. "I'm not going to be able to stop the leaks in the intergovernmental agencies, and all that other stuff is a whole other ball of wax. But something's going on inside the White House that the president does not like, and we're going to fix it."
"I'm just focused on the communications team. As far as I'm concerned, it's a new score for everybody in that team. And everybody in that team can stay as long as they follow the protocol of not leaking," he added. "Because at the end of the day, the president's super-upset about the leaks. It's unprofessional."
Scaramucci told Wallace that he has a difficult job ahead of him, as he crafts and delivers the president's messages while dealing with the onslaught of "fake news" and media bias against Trump undermining the administration. Noting that he himself had been the victim of "fake news" when CNN published and then retracted a story false tying him to a Russian investment fund, the new director lamented that many media members have "completely overblown" the whole "Russian situation."
"There is some fake news, unfortunately," he said. "I'd like to believe that there's still a level of objectivity in the mainstream media. But unfortunately, there are specific individuals that do stretch stories or ... fabricate things. I've been the victim of it myself, and so it's definitely there, Chris. I don't think we can dial that down, but we can use the mechanisms of social media, and the president's presence on social media, to hop over that if necessary."
"The good news here is that it's a fresh start for everybody," Scaramucci added. "I certainly want to engage the mainstream media. I expect that they're going to want to hold me and the White House accountable, but we're going to sort of want to hold them accountable, too. So I'm hoping that there will be symmetry in that relationship."
Noting that Trump has called out the mainstream media repeatedly for their "fake news" stories tying him and his officials to Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, Wallace asked Scaramucci how he and the reshuffled White House communications team plan to combat that narrative.
"I mean, we want to refine our rapid-response team. In some ways we want to de-escalate things and have there be a level of diplomacy. In other ways, we want it to be very hard-hitting and warlike. So it's sort of a blend of those two things, Chris," Scaramucci replied.
Noting that he had "worked intensely" on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Scaramucci said that "the Russian situation is completely overblown."
"I was falsely accused of things related to Russia. I know other people are being falsely accused of things related to Russia," Scaramucci said. "So for me, I'd like to get this behind us. I'll tell you, one of the things I do not like about Washington, I sort of feel like it's Scandals Incorporated down in Washington, that we have to make up things about each other, Chris, so that we can personally destroy each other to make us less effective as public servants." (go to page 2 to continue reading)