The new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has unleashed a profanity-filled tirade against his colleagues for leaking information to the media.
Mr Scaramucci, who was hired by US President Donald Trump last week, vowed to fire every White House communications staffer, after a The New Yorker reporter refused to reveal his source for a tweet that stated Mr Scaramucci, Mr Trump and Fox News figures were having dinner at the White House on Thursday.
“What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” Mr Scaramucci told The New Yorker reporter.
“I’m going to fire every one of them, and then you haven’t protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks.
“I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you … I want to f—ing kill all the leakers and I want to get the President’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people.”
Mr Scaramucci insisted current White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was behind the leak, labelling him as a “paranoid schizophrenic”.
“Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he’ll be asked to resign very shortly,” he said.
“Reince is a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
The enraged communications director then targeted chief strategist Steve Bannon, saying unlike other Trump administration officials, he had no interest in media attention.
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own —-,” Mr Scaramucci said, according to The New Yorker.
“I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f—ing strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.”
The drama was the latest sign of disarray within the Trump White House even as it tries to advance healthcare and tax reform legislation.
Mr Scaramucci seemingly attempted to apologise for his “colourful language” in a tweet on Friday morning, Australian time.
“I sometimes use colourful language. I will refrain in this area but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump’s agenda,” he said.
Asked about the article, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration was focused on healthcare and other items.
“He used some colourful language that I don’t anticipate he’ll do again,” she told reporters. Any apology “needs to happen personally between them,” she said.
Mr Priebus and Mr Bannon had no comment on the report.
Mr Trump himself made no public comment on his aide’s outburst.
Some of Mr Trump’s advisers have questioned Mr Priebus’s competence and his position appeared weak.
Republicans close to the White House said Mr Trump’s family had also been critical of his chief of staff.
There has been speculation that Mr Priebus, who steered the party apparatus behind Mr Trump’s unorthodox candidacy in last year’s election, is on his way out because Mr Trump has no major legislative achievements in his first six months in office.