Published July 28, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," July 27, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: As you know from the Italian expression the fish stinks from the head down. I can tell you two fish that don't stink, OK, and that's me and the president. If you want to talk about the staff, we have had odds, we have had differences. When I said we were brothers from the podium, that's because were rough on each other. Some brothers are like Cain and Abel. Other brothers can fight with each other and then get along. I don't know if this is repairable or not. That will be up to the president.
If Reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: That's incoming White House communication director Anthony Scaramucci. We're here at the White House today, and if he walks by or any other official walks by, we'll try to get them to come over and talk to us. But he has just released that tweet that we just brought you.
He also is responding to an article in The New Yorker, to reporter Ryan Lizza in which whether he didn't know whether he was on the record, we know that he didn't say it had to be off the record because there are a lot of quotes about Reince Priebus and who leaked the details of a meeting at the White House and a dinner of the White House. And then it gets very vulgar in this article that we won't go into too much detail about, about a number of different officials saying at one point he's going to fire them all.
A White House senior official responding to FOX News producers just said this, quote, "This is getting out of hand. I am honestly getting concerned for my safety in the office tomorrow. This type of behavior is unbelievable. Working in the White House and something like that is said, it is a disgrace."
So with that let's bring on our panel: Mercedes Schlapp, columnist for The Washington Times; Susan Page, Washington bureau chief at USA Today, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Susan, we've all covered Washington for a long time. We've often said this, there's not been anything like this.
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: That's right. We've had rivals for power all the time. Every White House has rival power centers. But we've never seen anything that is so public, so vulgar, threatening violence against leakers, vowing to fire them. It's really extraordinary.
And here's the question. Do you think this hurts Anthony Scaramucci with President Trump or does it help him because he's so combative and he's pushing back so strongly? But clearly this is just one more example of something happening in the Trump administration that we just have never seen happen before.
BAIER: Charles, in that tweet that I referenced earlier, Scaramucci says that he sometimes uses colorful language. Obviously he's a New Yorker. But what about this?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Being a New Yorker is no excuse. This is the degradation of the presidency. This is where we have come to. None of us have ever seen this. The reason is that it is not to be done. That kind of language is not to be used, particularly when it's infighting at the White House. The fact of the president is allowing all of this to go on I think it means that it rests with him. He's the only one who can actually restrain this. He appears not to. Perhaps he believes that Scaramucci is the guy who will clear the swamp in the White House. But this is really disgraceful.
BAIER: Just moments ago, Mercedes, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there is no official comment from the White House on these comments that have been printed. You thoughts on all this?
MERCEDES SCHLAPP, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: I think it's left a lot of us in shock. I think that it's trying to understand here that you had Scaramucci come out last week, very polished, being very open, talking to the press. But I think it's important to realize that journalists are not therapists, and it's very important to know the rules of the game. The rules of the game, off the record, what does that mean, and figuring out that component as well.
And I think that part of that comes with experience. So I think for Scaramucci it would have been more opportunity to do maybe less talking and more organizing the White House. He came in to purge, to make changes in the White House communication staff because the president was not liking the way the messaging was coming out. But here's the problem. When you have stories like this, it continues to be a distraction in talking about what matters to the president, which is that is his legislative agenda, which is health care reform, tax reform, getting jobs back for Americans. So I think this is just one of these unfortunate incidents and a mistake that has been made early on.
BAIER: This article I referenced is getting a lot of attention, but so is a Wall Street Journal photo that was tweeted out by the Wall Street Journal and was part of the interview they did with the presidents. There you see this stare down. That is real, not photo-shopped, in the Oval Office between Reince Priebus on the left and Scaramucci on the right. Susan, where does this go from here? Can Reince Priebus come from out of this and somehow remain a credible steering of the trains coming in and out of the office if it's this battle behind the scenes?
PAGE: You just can't hide the body language in that extraordinary photo. The Wall Street Journal noted that they had previously during their interview been seated next to each other on a couch, but you certainly see very hostile -- it looks like they're going to have guns drawn in the next minute.
I think it is hard to imagine both of these individuals survive on the White House staff. And I think Scaramucci at the moment is in the president's favor, but we'll see. Sean Spicer finally left. A thousand times it was predicted he was about to leave. Reince Priebus is now in that situation where there's now an expectation that he's going to resign, but it doesn't happen until it happens.
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