Last week’s arrival of new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has been fraught with literally obscene drama between himself and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. This week, Scaramucci accused Priebus of feloniously leaking his financial disclosure form to the press (it’s a publicly available document). Yesterday, Scaramucci then phoned up “The New Yorker” and unloaded to reporter Ryan Lizza in a bizarre and expletive-filled diatribe, calling Priebus an “f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” (Perhaps a continuance of Trump’s strategy of accusing his opponents of something he himself has done.)
Lost in all this is a key Scaramucci strategy to undermine Priebus: Bestowing him a third-grade nickname. According to the Washington Post, “Scaramucci has coined a particularly crude nickname for Priebus.”
Today, The Daily Beast has blown the lid off this sophisticated psychological operation: The nickname is “Reince Penis.”
“Two sources who have known Scaramucci for years” say he has called Priebus this for a while, says the Beast, along with other crude nicknames that have not yet been revealed.
Bad blood has been percolating on high between Priebus and Scaramucci since Trump’s election. Reportedly, Scaramucci, a member of Trump’s transition team, prepared to sell his hedge fund business, anticipating he would join the administration. Priebus blocked that. When Trump finally hired Scaramucci last week, it was over Priebus’s vehement objections.
It’s widely speculated that Scaramucci is trying to force Priebus out and claim the chief of staff position for himself.
President Trump has not commented. The Priebus-Scaramucci contretemps fits a pattern for the president: Despite gaining fame for the TV catchphrase “You’re fired,” he shrinks from the duty in real life, preferring to dispatch intermediaries (he sent his security chief to give FBI director James Comey his pink slip and an attorney to fire Sally Yates) and passive-aggressively tweeting negative performance reviews, as he has over the past few weeks with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.