If you thought your Sunday morning would bring respite from a week of warring GOP factions, you were wrong.
Early in the morning, Arthur Schwartz, a GOP operative and friend of beleaguered White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, took to Twitter to declare war on Scaramucci’s defeated rival in President Donald Trump’s White House — former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
“Hey Reince, you’re unemployed now,” Schwartz tweeted. “Keep pushing this crap and I’ll drop [opposition research] on you.”
Though the Scaramucci ally later suggested what that damaging information might entail, Mic has chosen to omit that unverifiable information from our report.
Immediately after, Schwartz tweeted again, “Hey Reince. Remember when people told you that it was me that was trashing you in the press? They were right. Happy to start again.”
Schwartz’s threat against Priebus appeared to be prompted by the belief that the ousted chief of staff had leaked humiliating information on Scaramucci to the press — in this specific instance, the claim that Priebus warned Trump that Scaramucci’s appointment came with strings that would tie the Trump White House to HNA Group, the Chinese conglomerate that purchased Scaramucci’s company.
Following Schwartz’s tweet, he and CNN’s Jake Tapper began to feud about whether Schwartz is or has ever been formally employed as Scaramucci’s publicist — a claim that Schwartz emphatically denies.
Though the GOP operative tweeted that he apologized to Priebus — and that Priebus accepted his apology — Tapper refuted that tweet’s veracity, claiming that a source close to the ousted White House Chief of Staff told the CNN anchor that Priebus “has neither heard nor accepted any apology from [Schwartz.’”
Schwartz’s threats and accusations come at the end of a particularly turbulent week of reported White House in-fighting between Scaramucci and Priebus. On Wednesday night, Scaramucci tweeted and deleted what appeared to be a threat against Priebus, erroneously claiming someone had broken the law in leaking his personal disclosure information (a publicly available document) to the press — and that Priebus might have been responsible.
Though Scaramucci later tweeted that he included Priebus’ name in that tweet to show solidarity among the White House’ senior officials, a New Yorker interview with Scaramucci published the next day seemed to refute that claim.
“Yeah, let me go, though, because I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy,” Scaramucci told journalist Ryan Lizza on Wednesday.
Minutes later, according to Lizza’s report, Scaramucci tweeted the threat against Priebus.
In the same interview with the New Yorker, Scaramucci described Priebus as “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic” who “cock-blocked” Scaramucci from entering a senior position at the White House.
On Friday, Trump tweeted that he was replacing Priebus as chief of staff with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump was upset Priebus didn’t fight back against Scaramucci’s onslaught of attacks.
July 30, 2017 12:50 p.m.: This story has been updated.