White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci called into CNN’s “New Day” for an all-encompassing interview Thursday morning.
Read the full transcript:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Ryan [Lizza, “The New Yorker” Washington Correspondent], so sorry to interrupt you right now. If you would stand by for a second that would be great because we actually have Anthony Scaramucci on the phone.
CHRIS CUOMO: Right, so, let’s get him. White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci joins us this morning. Anthony Scaramucci, can you hear us?
SCARAMUCCI: >> Yes. So, when i was speaking to you last night Ryan, I said it was unpatriotic that you would weren’t telling me who the leakers were. I was on a plane landing in New York, I have to go visit my mom, and so you may have caught it the wrong way. I was teasing you and it was sarcastic. It was one Italian to another, it wasn’t me trying to get you to say, if you could give me some sense for where they are, because I have a responsibility to the President of the United States –
CUOMO: Anthony –
SCARAMUCCI: when you said you didn’t, I totally respect your journalism and your integrity.
CUOMO: Anthony, hold on Anthony, I just want to make sure – I don’t know if Ryan can hear you.
RYAN LIZZA: I can.
CUOMO: But just in case, it did go out over the air so he heard what you meant when you were talking to him about being unpatriotic. Let’s just reset us at zero here. What’s going on in your perspective?
SCARAMUCCI: I want to reset at zero, but I also want you to know I just spent about 15 minutes on the phone talking with the President of the United States who has given me his full support and his full blessing, and I’m going to read you something, Chris, and you bear with me. And the President also told me, if you’re nice to me in this segment, he’ll let me come back on the show, is that cool? So why don’t you let me talk for a little bit and then you can ask me questions. But this is super, super important to the country, now, whether you agree with the President or you disagree with the President, you have to love the institution of the presidency. You have to love the office and you have to love our country and what is going on right now, I’ve done a major amount of work over the last five days. I’ve interviewed most of the assistants to the President. I’ve interviewed most of the people in the communications team in the White House and what the President and I would like to tell everybody, we have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are, who the senior leakers are in the White House. We’ll get to that in a second. What I also want to say is that we are working together, the President and myself and other members of his team and law enforcement to undercut and undercover – or out, if you will – the leakers in the entire country. As the President would say in his own words, the White House leakers are small potatoes. I’ll talk to you about a few leaks that happened last night that I find reprehensible. But the White House leaks are small potatoes relative to things that are going on with leaking things about Syria or North Korea or leaking things about Iraq. Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago people would have actually been hung for those types of leaks. So, the President brought me in, he knows I’m his friend first, Chris. You’re from New York, I’m from New York, the President is from New York. We had dinner last night. I sat next to the First Lady. I love the President. I’ve said that. I know the press wants to ridicule me for saying it six times from the podium. But we started out as friends. I am not a politician. I’m an American businessman and entrepreneur that have built two businesses and I try to play it straight with people. The President is trying to play it straight with people which is why he has 140 or 125 social media followers because they want to hear it straight from the President. And I said to the President this morning, I can’t afford to be a sycophant to you, sir. I have to talk to you straight as a friend so I can help you with this problem. And so what I want to say to you is I understand the law. I know that there was a public disclosure mechanism in my financial forms. What I’m upset about is the process and the junk pool, the dirty pool, Chris, in terms of the way this stuff is being done, and the leaking won’t stop. I can’t have a couple of friends up from “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity, who is one of my closest friends, to dinner with the President and his First Lady without it being leaked in seven minutes. It’s absolutely completely and totally reprehensible. As you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. What I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, okay, and that’s me and the President. I don’t like the activity that’s going on in the White House. I don’t like what they’re doing to my friend. I don’t like what they’re doing to the President of the United States or their fellow colleagues in the West Wing. If you want to talk about the Chief of Staff, we have had odds. We have had differences. When I said we were brothers from the podium, that’s because we’re rough on each other, some brothers are like Cain and Abel, other brothers can fight with each other and get along. I don’t know if this is repairable or not, that will be up to the President, but he’s the Chief of Staff. He’s responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the White House, which is why I put that tweet out last night. When the journalists who actually know who the leakers are – like Ryan Lizza – they know the leakers. Jonathan Swan at Axios – these guys know who the leakers are. I respect them for not telling me because I understand and respect journalistic integrity. However, when I put out a tweet and I put Reince’s name in a tweet, they’re all making the assumption that it’s him because journalists know who the leakers are. So if reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that. Let me tell you something about myself. I am a straight shooter and I’ll go right to the heart of the matter. Okay, so I’m done talking. You can ask me questions. But be nice on this segment, Chris, because this is a very serious matter of interest to all of America.
CUOMO: Well, Anthony, look, I know when you say be nice, you’re in part joking, because you know the job is to be fair. So let’s be fair in this situation and try and get a sense of what’s going on.