A UK-based hacker says he duped Anthony Scaramucci into a fake email exchange because the axed White House communications director used mental health as a “put down”.
The man, who calls himself the “email prankster”, claims he tricked senior American officials into thinking he was other prominent members of White House staff including President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and the former White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
Explaining his actions on Twitter, the prankster said he targeted Mr Scaramucci, who was removed from his White House post on Monday after 10 days in the job, after he reportedly described Priebus as a “f****** paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac”.
He later added: “White House – FYI I won’t be pranking you any longer, point made. I’m just a dude with a iPhone, you need to tighten up IT policy. love x x.”
— EMAIL PRANKSTER (@SINON_REBORN) July 31, 2017
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it is looking into the incidents and it takes cyber-related issues seriously.
Using a mail.com account, the prankster wrote to Mr Scaramucci pretending to be Mr Priebus: “At no stage have you acted in a way that’s even remotely classy, yet you believe that’s the standard by which everyone should behave towards you?
“General Kelly will do a fine job. I’ll even admit he will do a better job than me. But the way in which that transition has come about has been diabolical. And hurtful. I don’t expect a reply.”
According to CNN, Mr Scaramucci is alleged to have replied: “You know what you did. We all do. Even today. But rest assured we were prepared. A Man would apologize.”
The fake Mr Priebus then wrote: “I can’t believe you are questioning my ethics! The so called ‘Mooch’, who can’t even manage his first week in the White House without leaving upset in his wake. I have nothing to apologize for.”
And Mr Scaramucci allegedly responded: “Read Shakespeare. Particularly Othello. You are right there. My family is fine by the way and will thrive. I know what you did. No more replies from me.”
In another prank, he allegedly tricked Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert into believing he was Mr Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, to the extent that he revealed his personal email address.
Posing as Mr Kushner, the prankster invited Mr Bossert to a party.
“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the fake prankster wrote in emails shared with CNN.
“It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible [sic] quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”
Mr Bossert replied: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is [redacted].”