Anthony Scaramucci’s no good, very bad day proves being rich doesn’t make you good at your job
If the Trump administration does one thing for the good of America without changing its behavior in a single way, it will be to finally dispel the notion that rich people are magic. They may very well prove, once and for all, that having money is not the one Universal Skill or the type-O blood of competency.
To that end, White House communications director Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci made another donation on Thursday morning.
Things started going poorly for The Mooch on Wednesday, when Politico reported he would still profit from his firm, SkyBridge Capital, while working in the White House. The report cited Scaramucci’s publicly available financial disclosure form, which he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics when he took a communications position at the Export-Import Bank earlier in 2017.
Scaramucci, ignoring that the form was both publicly available and that such availability was explained in the third paragraph of the Politico piece, fired off a tweet reading, “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info, which is a felony, I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45.”
Ordinarily, claiming a publicly available document was a “leak” would display a shocking degree of ignorance or inattention, but The Mooch also tagged White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in the tweet. At best, it presented a clownishly inefficient way of CC’ing a colleague; at worst, it was intimidation — which the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza confirmed hours later, tweeting, “In case there’s any ambiguity in his tweet, I can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Reince for leaking.”
Under normal circumstances, one might pause here to note that Lizza’s tweet would probably constitute the exact sort of leak Scaramucci bills himself as being solely capable of eliminating from the Trump White House. And one wonders if The Mooch himself was the source of the leak — the FBI almost assuredly wasn’t — and whether he thinks it’s okay when he does it. But put a sock in it: You’re a child on a family trip who wants to stop at a gas station for a 20-ounce soda, and Dad’s not going to because there’s no time for more leaks or else we’ll never get to the end at this rate.
(Especially since even the names of whom Scaramucci was dining with during this period of time were leaked by “a source close to Scaramucci.”)
Mooch then deleted his tweet about calling the FBI — adding another to his Twitter list of bowdlerized embarrassments — which is the suavely deflective digital equivalent of trying to hide drugs and pornography from your parents by padlocking a single drawer on your desk you refuse to open when they’re in the room.
Then, to make matters worse (which is definitionally the opposite of Scaramucci’s job), he called into CNN’s New Day on Thursday morning to spend 30 minutes telling everyone else they were doing their jobs wrong.
He denied calling on the FBI to investigate Priebus, but also added, “the fish stinks from the head down.” He then trapped Priebus and CNN in what one can only assume he thinks is inescapable logic.
“When I put out a tweet and I put Reince’s name in a tweet, they all make the assumption that it’s him because journalists know who the leakers are,” Scaramucci said. “So if Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that.”
(You could do something similar right now. Tweet, “I have herpes. @Beyonce.” Then wonder why Beyoncé is unwilling to prove she didn’t have sex with you, while citing any commentary on your crazy tweet as proof everyone knows there’s a link between you and Beyoncé. It will only work in tiny minds and your own mirror, which is exactly where The Mooch’s gambit is bringing down the house.)
There are good explanations for why journalists would talk about Priebus in relation to Scaramucci’s accusations, chief among them the fact that the two men dislike each other and Scaramucci singled him out in the tweet.
Scaramucci’s obvious-as-a-chest-wound attempt at high school “gotcha” logic is what happens when you hire rich people on the presumption their net worth prequalifies them for expertise in anything. He really thinks he’s nailed that balding oleaginous lump Priebus to the wall for good, even cutely likening their relationship to that of siblings like Cain and Abel — the latter of whom was murdered by the former. Subtle.
Mooch’s job is to communicate officially and to stamp out unofficial communication. Instead, he has instantly and grandly demonstrated his ineptitude for both.
His only stamp on the job so far has come from sycophantically impersonating the president and attempting to brand himself as some unstoppable meld of New York glamour and New York grit — like a physical and attitudinal cross between Buster Poindexter in the “Hot Hot Hot” video and Lou Reed beating up someone. He shows little ability to avoid pantsing himself on Twitter, and his “checkmate” move against Priebus involves forcing the chief of staff to prove a negative while trumping up a link between Priebus and the press that The Mooch himself established.
This is what passes for gamesmanship from somebody who made his money taking a rich-guy investment instrument and selling it at an inflated cost to upper-middle-class dipshits who want to convince themselves they’re rich. It’s what happens when a zero-value-added individual applies his skills to challenging but obvious tasks, the requirements of which even an average person can understand. It’s called failure.
The president aside, usually when everyone knows how a job works, substituting it with a con job doesn’t.