Email #237: “kill all the leakers”?

I was surprised to read that the President’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, was fired yesterday by the President’s new chief of staff, General John Kelly. Was it because days after taking his position, Scarmucci called The New Yorker and told them that the President’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is “trying to suck [his] own cock” and that the President’s former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, “is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic”? Scarmucci, who refers to himself in third person as “the Mooch,” ended his phone interview last Wednesday by saying of Priebus: “I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy.” Priebus learned that he would be fired later that same day, becoming the shortest serving chief of staff in White House history–a feet that seemed remarkable until Scaramucci’s ten-day term ended yesterday.

While I assume you do not approve of the new former communications director’s unprofessional language, you must have been pleased by his attitude toward leakers: “What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers … O.K., the Mooch showed up a week ago. This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, O.K.? Because I nailed these guys. I’ve got digital fingerprints on everything they’ve done through the F.B.I. and the fucking Department of Justice.”

You also contacted the Department of Justice with your concerns about White House leaks. Last February you wrote: “there have been a series of news articles recounting potentially classified national security information” which “cited ‘current and former U.S. officals’ … In light of this, we request that your office begin an immediate investigation.”

I don’t know if the DoJ followed your request, but according to “the Mooch,” the highest White House leaker has been identified. It was chief of staff Priebus, who Scaramucci told The New Yorker had been thinking: “’Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’”

Since Scaramucci publicly identified the top White House leaker before stepping down, how are you as chair of House Judiciary Committee responding? Have you opened an investigation into Priebus? Although he, like Scaramucci, is no longer a member of the administration, if he leaked classified information he committed a felony and should be prosecuted. You were especially vigilant about pursuing Secretary Clinton after she left the Obama administration, so I assume you will apply that same level of vigilance to an ex-member of the Trump administration.

Or you could use your position to, as the Mooch would say, “cock-block” an investigation since the President assured us that Priebus is “a good man” who he thanked “for his service and dedication to his country.” I am confident that you, like your Republican colleagues, will make a sound decision and continue to fill the American public with trust and admiration in your party’s judgement and professionalism.

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

One thought on “Email #237: “kill all the leakers”?”

  1. It’s never too late to learn a few new cuss words. “Cock-block” for crying out loud? So glad this foul-mouthed, full-of-himself excuse of a human being is gone. The on-going reality show full of fake news and foul mouths certainly keeps us on our toes….At least, Goodlatte knows more elegant words which he puts to use so well – his form letters have so many nice words that say nothing that you have to scratch your head afterwards. But, alas, he uses some “good” words 🙂


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