Live

Watch CBSN Live

Scaramucci vs. Priebus: A White House at war with itself

A White House divided

If it wasn't already apparent a war is brewing between new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and chief of staff Reince Priebus, Scaramucci has now made that clear. 

Scaramucci -- who has threatened to fire his entire communications staff in reaction to White House leaks -- all but accused Priebus of being a leaker in a tweet he posted then deleted late Wednesday night, after Politico reported Scaramucci's financial disclosure information. 

"In light of the leak of my financial info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45," the now-deleted tweet read. 

Scaramucci didn't end the tough talk there. On CNN's "New Day" Thursday, he again targeted Priebus in relation to leaks. 

"When I put out a tweet and I put Reince's name in a tweet, they're all making the assumption that it's him because journalists know who the leakers are," Scaramucci said on CNN Thursday. "So if Reince wants to explain he's not a leaker, let him do that. But let me tell you about myself. I'm a straight shooter and I'll go right to the heart of the matter."

Hours later, incoming press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders coaxed the concept of the rivalry between the two in the press briefing room.

"I think the president as always enjoys healthy competition and conversation and he sees that as such," Sanders said.

Anthony Scaramucci puts White House leakers on notice

Scaramucci exploded onto the White House scene last week, making it clear in his first press briefing he would not only be taking over the communications reins from outgoing press secretary and Priebus ally Sean Spicer, but that he would also have the access and powers normally designated to the chief of staff. He said he reports directly to the president, instead of to Priebus, and wields the authority to fire people.

At the same time, Priebus' presence has seemed to diminish in the White House. But the distance between the two represents more than just "healthy competition," as Sanders coined it. 

Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, represents the establishment Republican wing brought on in efforts to provide Washington know-how to a president with no experience holding public office. Other RNC allies brought aboard included Spicer and Kate Walsh, former deputy White House chief of staff. They're now gone.

Scaramucci has indicated his allegiance is to the president alone, and he's willing to go to bat for him. Like Mr. Trump, he's a New Yorker. Like Mr. Trump, his past political views don't reflect typical Republican party positions, but Scaramucci said his ideas have since "evolved."

View CBS News In