President Trump ran (and won) on the platform that he wasn’t a politician. Nobody disputed that. Since moving into the White House he has surrounded himself with others who were equally naive about how government works.
In previous posts I’ve created a subcategory of the Trump Chronicles I’ve called “Amateur Hour.” Previous winners included Kellyanne Conway, President Trump, Stephen Miller, and Sean Spicer.
Next up is Sean Spicer’s successor, Anthony Scaramucci. He took the job promising to end leaks to the press (which reminds many of us of President Nixon’s attempt to stop leaks in his administration through the use of operatives that we know as plumbers).
Wednesday night Mr. Scarmucci called the journalist Ryan Lizza demanding to know how he (Mr. Lizza) knew about who attended a White House dinner. Of course Mr. Lizza refused to give his source.
Mr. Scarmucci then began a tirade, accusing (then) White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of leaking the information.
He then falsely claimed that the public disclosure of his finances was a felony even though it was published by Politico after they made a public records request.
If that weren’t enough he then made increasingly vulgar attacks on Mr. Priebus and White House Strategist Steve Bannon. You can read about it here.
I’m not a politician but I recognize that any conversation I have with a journalist is “on the record” unless I ask that it be “off the record.” An “off the record” conversation is understood by both parties to be kept confidential. The reporter may use the information to continue to investigate but he can’t directly quote anything he is told.
I guess Mr. Scarmucci didn’t get the memo. When Mr. Lizza quoted him in an excellent article in The Atlantic, Mr. Scarmucci claimed he made a mistake in trusting a reporter and that it won’t happen again.
Only a rank amateur would speak to a reporter on the record and then complain that his words were quoted.
Tony, welcome to the club currently occupied by Kellyanne Conway, President Trump, Stephen Miller, and Sean Spicer. Fear not, the club will get bigger.