Scaramucci on Nasty Interview: I Thought I Was Off the Record

But reporter who received vulgar tirade says they had a clear understanding
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2017 6:19 AM CDT
Scaramucci on Nasty Interview: I Thought I Was Off the Record
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Just how foul-mouthed was Anthony Scaramucci's tirade against his West Wing enemies? The Guardian is running a who-said-it quiz pitting his quotes against those of the comically foul-mouthed staff from Veep. In the immediate aftermath of the story going public on Thursday, Scaramucci tweeted a mea culpa of sorts, promising to refrain from such "colorful language" in the future. And two hours after that, he suggested that he thought he was off the record. "I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter," he tweeted. "It won't happen again." Fox News' Sean Hannity backed up the latter point: "He told me he thought it was off the record," Hannity said on his Thursday night show, per the Washington Examiner. However, both the reporter involved and his publication, the New Yorker, dispute that.

"Scaramucci, who initiated the call, did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background," Ryan Lizza wrote in the original story. And a spokesperson for the magazine tells Axios that "Scaramucci was clear and agreed that the conversation was on the record." Neither of Scaramucci's main targets, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, have responded publicly. But Bannon's former publication, Breitbart, offers a theory: "There is absolutely no way that Scaramucci could be stupid enough to make those comments on the record, so Scaramucci, in a fit of rage about leaks about him, may have temporarily forgotten he was on the record." Either that, or he figured Lizza wouldn't run the volatile stuff. The piece also warns that Scaramucci will be in trouble with President Trump if the president thinks he'll damage the Trump brand. (Read more Anthony Scaramucci stories.)

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