CNN’s Chris Cuomo grilled Anthony Scaramucci over the firing of assistant press secretary Michael Short, reportedly the first victim of the new communication director’s leaker purge.
Politico first reported that Short had been sacked Tuesday morning, the assistant press secretary learned the news later in the day, and tendered his resignation.
“You got rid of somebody inside this staff, is that because you thought they were a leaker?” Cuomo asked Scaramucci.
“No, I had never met the person personally,” Scaramucci said, making a point of not mentioning the fired staffer by name. “I got rid of somebody inside the staff because somebody above my rank had suggested that person needed to be fired.”
… interesting use of “somebody” too.
Scaramucci added that he didn’t want to fire Short as much as he “wanted to give him the opportunity to resign.” He said he spoke with Short over the phone and offered help with finding the young staffer a new job.
The new communications director then reiterated his calls to stop the leaks flowing from the White House:
“I would tell my colleagues to stop doing that. It doesn’t help the president, it’s embarrassing to the institution of the presidency and makes you look very, very small when you’re leaking on your colleagues. That’s not good team sports.”
“A few questions,” Cuomo interjected. “One: you said somebody above your rank wanted him out. Was that the president?”
“I didn’t answer the question, Chris. You see, I’m getting so subtle and surgical in terms of the way I’m talking here,” Scaramucci quipped.
“You’re as subtle as a heart attack,” Cuomo shot back. “You report directly to the president.”
After a short back and forth, Cuomo again asked “did the president tell you, get rid of this guy, he’s one of the leakers?”
“I’m not going to answer that question,” Scaramucci replied.
“Why? What happened to being straight?” Cuomo said.
“I’m being straight. I’m straightly, straightly not answering your question,” the Mooch said.
“And you know what that suggests, right,” Cuomo said. “It suggests that yes, it was him that told you to do it.”
“Chris, I already answered it, you’re just not really a derivative thinker,” Scaramucci quipped.
The two then exchanged a few flirty taps, with Cuomo cooing “you’re hurting my feelings Anthony,” and Scaramucci claiming his “teasing” always upsets the CNN host.
Cuomo finally said he has “a little affection” for Scaramucci, and the Mooch agreed.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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