‘Dirty secret': Scaramucci ‘abused staff’ and claimed White House officials were having affair – Washington Examiner
President Trump’s allegation that Anthony Scaramucci “abused staff” was met with agreement from many who worked under or near the financier during his 11 days as White House communications director.
Though fired more than two years ago, Scaramucci’s break with Trump this month surfaced previously unpublished stories of allegedly inappropriate behavior.
Sources said Trump’s tweet Monday recalled a little-known truth: Although Scaramucci was dismissed after disparaging other senior officials in a profane interview, he was on the verge of being fired anyhow.
“The dirty secret was the interview escalated it. The reality was [other] things, that’s where [White House chief of staff John] Kelly lost his shit,” a source familiar with Scaramucci’s termination said. “Everyone in the press watched the expletive-laced tirade and no one went, ‘What else caused it?’”
Kelly, whose first official day as chief of staff was July 31, made firing Scaramucci one of his first official acts. Kelly replaced former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who had been ousted as chief of staff a few days earlier.
Scaramucci’s gravest human resources sin featured telling a female White House official that he heard she was sleeping with a more senior male official, many sources said.
The allegation was widely viewed by sources as “gross” and a clear attempt to intimidate and humiliate the woman.
A person who spoke with Scaramucci said he defended himself as merely wanting to make the woman aware of what others were saying. Other sources, however, believe Scaramucci invented the allegation.
A person familiar with the episode called the explanation offered by Scaramucci “the purest form of bullshit” and said he was really “trying inflict as much pain and damage as possible.”
Other accusations circulated about Scaramucci’s work with women.
“Several female staffers felt he repeatedly verbally harassed them and would physically loom over them as an intimidation tactic. Several staffers were preparing to quit before he was let go,” one source said.
“With the guys it wasn’t any easier. It was very in our face,” a different source recalled.
“Everybody’s nerves were pretty rankled because he was behaving so erratically in meetings,” recalled a third source. “It was like being in an abusive relationship. You didn’t know when the next punch would be.”
Scaramucci was brought aboard to disrupt a culture of leaks, but his aggressiveness in doing so surprised even his supporters.
“The people in the press and comms shop that supported Mooch, two days in thought the guy was walking on the thinnest of possible ice,” said a fourth source.
Anthony Scaramucci is a highly unstable “nut job” who was with other candidates in the primary who got shellacked, & then unfortunately wheedled his way into my campaign. I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence-made a fool of himself, bad on TV. Abused staff,…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
August 19, 2019
Scaramucci’s right-hand man and perceived ally at the time, Cliff Sims, would later write of a meeting with about 40 press and communications staffers where he threatened to fire them all for leaking. Sims likened it to a “fire-breathing dragon that had just returned from laying waste to the unsuspecting peasants in the village.”
Indeed, a few morning meetings with Scaramucci are well remembered.
After the content of a staff meeting was leaked, Scaramucci threatened staff the next day.
“Anthony came back on Tuesday and said, ‘There is a leaker in this room … and I’m just going to fire you all,’” a source recalled. “There’s no doubt in my mind that it was Anthony or one of his acolytes who leaked it so they could try to fire some of the RNC staff.”
“He was so butthurt that he was kept out of the administration, and he blamed it all on Reince. So RNC people all got lumped in that bucket,” the source recalled.
In a White House riven by factions, Scaramucci aligned against former RNC aides brought in under Priebus, whom he blamed for keeping him from a prime administration job early in the administration. Many people believe Scaramucci boosters brought him aboard as a grenade to clear out strategist Steve Bannon and Priebus. Bannon departed in early August.
At one morning meeting, a press aide pushed back on a point Scaramucci had made. Scaramucci surprised the room by accusing the aide of having dual loyalties, divided between the team’s mission and that of Priebus, who would soon depart as chief of staff.
Still, despite the widely shared characterizations of Scaramucci’s time in office, his fight with Trump resulted in a flurry of other allegations, some denied by supposed witnesses.
A spokeswoman for Scaramucci described negative recollections as an orchestrated hit after the New York businessman recently stood up to Trump and questioned his mental fitness for office.
”Trump and his allies have launched a dishonest orchestrated attack against Anthony Scaramucci because he chose to speak out against the President’s erratic and divisive behavior. Donald Trump has a long record of manipulating the truth for his own benefit and this is just the latest example,” the spokeswoman said.
In response to a request for comment, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Scaramucci “has no relevance, credibility, or notoriety, and his ravenous appetite for attention has led him to lash out at a president he once strongly supported.”
Grisham continued: “Predictably, many in the media are choosing to promote anyone who says a single unkind thing about this President but the facts are simple; Anthony got a job at the White House, was fired 11 days later for numerous issues surrounding his conduct, and has begged to come back many times since. For someone who purports to have a successful business and happy home life, he is sure spending a lot of time on TV talking about things he has no knowledge of.”