President's aide wants inquiry into 'leak' of his financial info

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has vowed to get tough with leakers.
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has vowed to get tough with leakers.

WASHINGTON • In the five days since he was named White House communications director, Mr Anthony Scaramucci has vowed to hunt down leakers and fire anyone he catches.

By the end of his fifth day, he was on the receiving end of what he called a leak about himself.

The financial disclosure form that Mr Scaramucci filed with the government appeared on Politico's website on Wednesday night, showing he has assets worth as much as US$85 million (S$115 million).

He made US$5 million in salary and another US$4.9 million from his ownership stake in his investment firm SkyBridge Capital in the first six months of this year, according to the filing.

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Mr Scaramucci responded angrily. "In the light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony," he wrote on Twitter, "I will be contacting @FBI and @TheJusticeDept."

He added the hashtag #swamp, reflecting President Donald Trump's promise to drain the swamp, and then included the Twitter handle of Mr Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, who had opposed Mr Scaramucci's appointment last week.

Given Mr Scaramucci's tough language about leakers, and his decision to push out one assistant press secretary, his tweet added to a sense of foreboding that had taken hold in the White House.

Asked by text on Wednesday night whether he was blaming Mr Priebus for the release of the form, Mr Scaramucci did not respond - although he did respond to another question. Still, it was not clear that it was actually a leak in the first place, much less an illegal one.

Mr Scaramucci had filed the form in connection with his previous, short-lived job with the Trump administration at the Export-Import Bank. Under federal law, anyone can request such a report 30 days after its receipt.

Mr Scaramucci's report says it was filed on June 23, which means it could be publicly released by the bank on Sunday, July 23. Politico did not indicate whether it had obtained the report through such a regular request.

Asked why he thought the report had been leaked illegally, Mr Scaramucci responded by text: "They aren't in process yet."

But when told his form could be released on July 23, he did not respond further.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'President's aide wants inquiry into 'leak' of his financial info'. Print Edition | Subscribe