White House's Scaramucci calls airing of financial form a 'felony,' then removes post

Key Points
  • White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has called the "leak" of his financial disclosure information a "felony"
  • But commentators point out that these disclosures are public documents
Anthony Scaramucci claims he knows who the White House leakers are

Incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on Wednesday evening called the "leak" of his financial disclosure form a "felony," saying that he would be contacting the FBI and Justice Department about the matter.

The disclosure, however, is a public document, multiple commentators pointed out.

Late on Wednesday, Politico reported findings from the former hedge fund star's disclosure, noting that the 53 year-old had earned $4.9 million from his ownership stake in SkyBridge Capital and more than $5 million in salary between January 2016 and the end of June this year.

The disclosure form, which was filed with the Office of Government Ethics, hadn't been previously reported, Politico said. It's not clear how Politico obtained the document.

"In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45," he said in the message.

Scaramucci's post was removed shortly after it began to garner attention online.

Many immediately responded to the post by saying that financial disclosure forms were not classified information, suggesting the "felony" label was unnecessary.

@Scaramucci @FBI @TheJusticeDept @Reince45 Your financial disclosure report is a public document http://archive.is/F35zX#selection-65.0-309.19

Individuals wanting to access financial disclosures for White House officials must fill out an online form. The White House stipulates that any use of a disclosure for any commercial purposes, "other than by news and communications media for dissemination to the general public," is unlawful.

Hiring smooth-talking Scaramucci as a mouthpiece won't pull the White House out of its rut

The New York Times reported that Scaramucci, responding to a question, justified his belief that the report was leaked illegally, saying "they aren't in process yet." But he "did not respond further" after being informed that his form could be released on July 23, the Times said.

Political watchers were also intrigued by the fact that Scaramucci tagged Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump's chief of staff, in his tweet.

Priebus has been floated as a key target in an alleged shake-up of Trump's core team. The president, under pressure from the ongoing Russia investigations, gave his chief of staff a July 4 deadline to clean up the White House, Politico reported in June.

Philip Rucker Tweet: Some in White House are trying to build a case that Priebus is a leaker — "a diagram" charting leaks, per senior official — to show Trump

Responding to a news article saying "Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI," the communications director said the original message was intended to be a "public notice to leakers that all [senior administration] officials are helping to end illegal leaks."

Anthony Scaramucci‏ Tweet: Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45

At a press briefing last week, Scaramucci, a former CNBC contributor, said he had no friction with Priebus, who reportedly wasn't aware of Scaramucci's appointment before the news was made public.

Read Politico's full story here.

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