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Scaramucci on Priebus: 'He's a f***ing paranoid schizophrenic'?

Scaramucci went on to focus his ire on Steve Bannon. The things he said about the White House chief strategist are unprintable. Photograph: (Others)

AFP Washington, DC, United States Jul 28, 2017, 04.05 AM (IST)

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has launched a searing foul-mouthed attack on his most senior colleagues, describing one as a "paranoid schizophrenic."

In an eye-watering exchange with a New Yorker reporter late Wednesday, the fast-talking Scaramucci ranted about chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon.

"Reince is a (expletive) paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac," Scaramucci was quoted as saying in an expletive-filled tirade in which the 53-year-old accused the chief of staff of damaging information leaks.

"They're trying to resist me, but it's not going to work," he said, adding that Priebus would soon resign and using language that American television networks refused to repeat.

Turning his sights on Trump's chief strategist, Scaramucci made it very clear he believes Bannon is working in the White House to serve his own interests, using particularly offensive language.

"I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own (expletive)," he said.

"I'm not trying to build my own brand off the (expletive) strength of the president. I'm here to serve the country."

'Colourful language'

Scaramucci, a millionaire New York financier, has arrived at the White House vowing to serve Trump's interest and right a badly faltering administration.

His appointment gives Trump not just a high-profile surrogate, but one cut from the same wheeling-dealing New York cloth as himself.

Since taking on the role, Scaramucci has run to the cameras, firing up the charm and enthusiastically hawking the administration's wares, breathing new energy into Trump's faltering White House.

The brash Long Island native also has vowed to root out the "leaks" that have infuriated Trump, threatened to fire anyone who fails to fall in line and signaled he is not afraid to mix it up with the big players in Trump's inner circle.

Before the revelations made by The New Yorker, he had already seemed to publicly accuse Priebus of leaking information, although that tweeted allegation was later retracted and denied.

But the revelations made by The New Yorker are likely to raise questions about how long Scaramucci -- a possible pretender to Priebus's throne -- can last in the West Wing.

Scaramucci did not apologise for the tirade, but said he would try to clean up his language in the future.

"I sometimes use colourful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump's agenda," he tweeted.

Later on, he added: "I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again."

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Scaramucci "used some colorful language -- I don't think he will again."

For Scaramucci, his similarities to Trump may yet be his downfall.

In the billionaire president's White House, any misstep or slight -- real or imagined -- that irks the man in the Oval Office can be politically fatal.

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