WASHINGTON — WARNING: This story contains graphic language.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Anthony Scaramucci’s vulgar attacks on Reince Priebus Thursday night, just hours after she was unable to say if the President has confidence in his chief of staff.
“Sometimes he’s a passionate guy, sometimes he might let that passion get the better of him. I think maybe that happened,” she told reporters. “He used some colorful language that I don’t anticipate he will again.”
She was responding to a piece published by the New Yorker earlier Thursday on a phone call between Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s new communications director, and a reporter who broke news on Twitter of a private dinner Scaramucci had Wednesday with the President, first lady Melania Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine.
During the phone call, Scaramucci demanded that journalist Ryan Lizza tell him his source and threatened to fire people from the White House communications team if Lizza did not comply, Lizza wrote.
Scaramucci, who said he believes that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was behind the leak, told Lizza, “Reince is a f***ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
Scaramucci also seemed to accuse Priebus of leaking his financial disclosure to Politico in a since-deleted tweet the night before and then again during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday morning.
But Huckabee Sanders declined to play referee between Scaramucci and Priebus Thursday night.
“That’s a conversation that needs to happen personally between them. It’s not something that I’m going to litigate with you guys,” Huckabee Sanders said. “The President has run a multi-billion-dollar industry. I think he knows when he needs to play a role. When he does, he will.”
At the press briefing earlier in the day, Huckabee Sanders said, referencing the feud, that she thinks the President “always enjoys healthy competition.”
Huckabee Sanders said Scaramucci “did a great job fielding questions” last Friday during his debut in the White House briefing room and brushed aside questions whether he was fit to be a public face of the President. “He’s going to take that same passion and put it in the president’s agenda and move it forward,” Sanders said.