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White House at war: Now Reince Priebus prepares his next move

10:37 EDT 28 Jul 2017 | Yahoo News

White House at war: Now Reince Priebus prepares his next moveReince Priebus, the embattled White House chief of staff, has begun calling allies for advice on how to fight back against a campaign of private lobbying that this week erupted into a civil war at the heart of Donald Trump’s administration. Factional fighting behind the scenes exploded into public view on Thursday when Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump’s new communications director, launched a foul-mouthed tirade against Mr Priebus. As a Republican Party stalwart, he finds himself increasingly isolated among the political newcomers and New York millionaires that staff Mr Trump’s unconventional White House. Anthony Scaramucci talking to reporters at the White House Credit: AP Insiders say he is well aware of his position and is debating whether to jump before he is pushed. “He figured he would do the job for a year and now is trying to work out if that is possible – and if that is what he wants,” said a Republican insider, speaking on condition of anonymity. Other reports suggested he was sounding out allies as part of an effort to fight back. He had opposed the hiring of Mr Scaramucci and saw one of his allies, Sean Spicer, resign in protest. In a further snub, the new director of communications has made clear that he answers only to the president rather than the chief of staff. .@Scaramucci on WH Chief of Staff Priebus: "If Reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that." https://t.co/H7s5SzqeOa— CNN (@CNN) July 27, 2017 He appeared on CNN on Thursday morning and all but accused Mr Priebus of being the source of damaging leaks. Hours later, a New Yorker reporter published details of a telephone conversation during which Mr Scaramucci threatened to fire his own communications team as he searched for White House moles. He also delivered a profanity-laden description of Mr Preibus as a “paranoid schizophrenic” and said he would soon be asked to resign. I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won't happen again.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 28, 2017 Observers pointed out that Mr Scaramucci, nicknamed the Mooch, had been channelling his boss. “The Mooch is a New Yorker like me,” Rudolph Giuliani, the city’s former mayor and an adviser to Mr Trump told the New York Times. “He’s a purebred New Yorker. He’s lit a firecracker in that place. What you’re seeing in Scaramucci is the president’s style.” Anthony Scaramucci stands on the tarmac after arriving at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York Credit: AP In true Trumpian fashion, the ugly outburst also served as a distraction from more bad news for Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. In the early hours of Friday morning, the Senate once again failed to pass a bill that would have undone key elements of Barack Obama’s signature policy. John McCain leaves the Senate chamber after voting against the "skinny" repeal bill Credit: Getty images John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour, and two other Republican senators voted against it, enough to deny Republican leaders the simple majority they needed. The “skinny” repeal bill, as it is known, marks the third failed attempt to pass a healthcare overhaul. Analysis by the Congressional Budget Office estimates it would have meant an extra 16 million people going with insurance cover during the next decade and an increase of 20 per cent on premiums. The failure is a reminder that Mr Trump is struggling to make any progress with his legislative agenda. Scaramucci: leakers would have been hanged 150 years ago 00:44 In a White House filled with family members, retired generals and populist outsiders who lack a Republican background, it is Mr Priebus and his small band of party apparatchiks who must bear the blame for failures in Congress. But Rich Galen, a Republican strategist, said Mr Priebus’s biggest weakness was that his surname was not Trump or Kushner. Reince Priebus walks to boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base to travel with Donald Trump to Brentwood, New York Credit: AP “Without that, I think he is always one eyebrow raise from Trump away from having his stuff in cardboard boxes on the front of the White House lawn,” he said. He added that chief of staff was always a demanding job – at the centre of a web connecting the Pentagon, State Department, other agencies and Congress among many others – even without the additional chaos of Mr Trump’s management style. “I think it’s going to be a rotating job. I don’t think anyone can last six or seven months in that role because you can’t control the work flow or the paper flow,” he said.


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