WASHINGTON — In an unusual call into CNN Thursday morning, White House communications director defended himself after a deleted overnight tweet and railed against leaks coming from the White House and elsewhere.
Scaramucci said he had a good idea of who the “senior leakers” are in the White House but that he was more concerned with higher profile leaks on national security issues.
“Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago people would have been hung for those types of leaks,” Scaramucci told CNN.
Asked specifically about his reference to Reince Priebus in a now-deleted tweet, Scaramucci said, “if Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that.”
But he also spoke about continued turmoil inside the Trump administration.
“I don’t like the activity that’s going on in the White House. I don’t like what they’re doing to my friends, I don’t like what they’re doing to the president of the United States,” he said.
“There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president. Ok, that is not their job. Their job is to inject this president into America so that he can explain his views properly and his policies so that we can transform America and drain the swamp and make this system fairer for the middle and lower income people,” he said.
The call came after the newly appointed communications director promised to contact investigators over what he said was an illegal leak of his financial disclosure form in a tweet overnight. The since-deleted tweet mentioned the Twitter handle of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Scaramucci tweeted Wednesday night: ‘‘In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony, I will be contacting @FBIand the @JusticeDept#swamp @Reince45.’’ After removing the tweet, Scaramucci denied that it was a threat to Priebus, writing that the deleted tweet was ‘‘was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks.’’
Asked about his relationship with Priebus, Scaramucci said he didn’t know if it could be repaired.
“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 then get along. I don’t know … that will be up to the president,” he said.
Politico reported earlier Wednesday on the former Wall Street financier’s financial holdings. The report was based off of Scaramucci’s financial disclosure form.
Felicia Gans of the Globe staff contributed.