Well, that didn’t take long. Just last week, the new White House communications boss was all slick suit and new haircut as he took his first turn at the podium. Anthony Scaramucci promised a time of refreshed transparency and focus, and – importantly – he downplayed all the rumors of tension between himself and the chief of staff, Reince Priebus. Smiling like he’d just sharpened his teeth, he said, “You guys are going to be very, very surprised about the relationship that I have with Reince.”
Now it’s raw meat time. Hopping on Twitter and then in an epic phone call to CNN’s “New Day,” Scaramucci ripped into Priebus as a likely source of all those leaks the president is so obsessed about plugging. He even dared Priebus to contradict him. “If Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that!” Way to pull the team together, Mooch! Nothing like a good, unproven accusation to ingratiate yourself to the rest of the kids at the office.
But then, this isn’t about the team, is it? Nope. This is all about the audience of one: Donald Trump. And if I were a betting man, I’d say Mooch’s attack is a sure sign that the president’s festering dissatisfaction with Priebus has come to a head, and he wants him out. It makes sense. Priebus has been unable to arrange the kind of major legislative success the president craves, Trump’s approval rating has whirlpooled down to the ocean floor, and some Congressional Republicans are treating the White House like a fetid tidal pool to be stepped around if not entirely ignored.
But more importantly, this vicious assault tells us a lot about the real role of the Mooch. Sure, he may come across as just another sycophant – a fawning “yes man” for a president who acts as if he can never have enough. But I think this shows Scaramucci is more likely going to play the part of a hammerhead: patrolling for the president’s interests with cold-eyed intensity and attacking on command.
So it’s suitable all this is happening during Shark Week. And I suspect the feeding frenzy is far from over.