Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci says he was “joking” off the record when he made an expletive-laden rant about his colleagues that led to his sacking.
“Most of what I said was humorous and joking,” Mr Scaramucci said.
Mr Scaramucci labelled then-chief of staff Reince Priebus “a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic” and said chief strategist Steve Bannon was “trying to suck his own —-“.
Mr Priebus was fired a day later.
“Legally, it may have been on the record, but the spirit of it was off [the record]. And [Lizza] knew that.”
The former financier said his and Mr Priebus’s families “have been friends for over 50 years”, as their fathers knew each other from construction, and “we were building a personal relationship”.
Mr Lizza said they “are not and have never been old family friends”, despite their fathers’ relationship.
“But that would not be a reason to suppress an explosive on-the-record interview,” he said.
After Ms Scaramucci’s resignation, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump thought the remarks were “inappropriate”.
Mr Scaramucci said he offered to resign in the immediate aftermath of the interview, but was told it was not necessary.
A few days later, new White House chief of staff John Kelly called Mr Scaramucci into his office and asked for his resignation in “a very polite conversation”.
After his 10 controversy-filled days in the White House, Mr Scaramucci said he is “now going to go dark”.
“Then I will re-emerge … as me,” he said.
– With ABC