Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
The morning after he tweeted (and then deleted) what was widely read as a threat to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus over leaks coming out of the White House, Donald Trump’s newly-minted communications director Anthony Scaramucci tried to stick the landing with a disastrous live interview on CNN where he quoted the late, disgraced football coach Joe Paterno and sparred with anchor Chris Cuomo.
Scaramucci, who has said he’s not afraid to “fire everybody” if leaks from top White House staffers don’t stop, called the recent leaks—some of which concerned him—“treasonous,” and said the officials “would have been hung for these leaks” 150 years ago.
He went on to favorably quote Paterno, the former Penn State football coach who for years did nothing to stop convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky from sexually abusing young boys in athletic department facilities.
“On the honor of the job. Remember Joe Paterno? What would he say? ‘Act like you’ve been there before.’ Act with honor and dignity and respect and hold the confidence of the presidency,” Scaramucci told Cuomo.
Things didn’t improve much from there. Although he promised to run the White House comms office as “an honest and clean shop” and said, because he’s Italian and from Queens, he would never dishonor his father by doing something stupid “for money or power,” Cuomo dressed him down for trying to “joke” about journalist Jake Tapper’s integrity.
He also compared himself and Priebus to Cain and Abel, two brothers who got along great, until they didn’t, and Cain killed Abel.
It’s still a bit early to tell, but so far, all signs point to “The Mooch” maybe just sucking at his job.
- Trump has nominated the wildly unpopular Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to serve as the administration’s evangelist for religious freedom abroad.
- The Pentagon had no idea that Trump was going to drop a blanket ban on transgender people serving in the military on Wednesday morning.
- The First Couple dined last night with Fox News meathead Sean Hannity, the former network executive Bill Shine, whose name was mentioned an awful lot of times in legal filings around the Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment scandal, as reported by The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.