He's the newly appointed White House communications director and the man who wishes to be the king's right hand. Enter Anthony Scaramucci, a man to rival any character from Shakespeare or "Game of Thrones."
On Thursday morning, Scaramucci called in to CNN. Even for this White House, his words were quite extraordinary. He openly attacked leakers and derided them as traitors. Scaramucci also proved that he intends to displace White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, from power.
Referencing growing tensions between Priebus and himself, Scaramucci stated: "I don't know if this is repairable or not. That is up to the president." It was an extraordinary moment, Scaramucci was challenging Trump to fire his direct boss.
Still, Scaramucci is no normal plotter; he's a master of the game. Consider the way Scaramucci framed his argument. First, he cast doubt on Priebus as someone who can be trusted by the president. Next, he challenged the chief of staff to declare that he's not a leaker. At the same time, however, Scaramucci also made clear the second part of his strategy: stroking Trump's ego.
Referring to the president, he explained, "I don't like what they're doing to my friend."
These words are loaded.
After all, Scaramucci is well aware that Trump lives for media coverage and will hear about his words. Correspondingly, Scaramucci's simultaneous assertion of adoration for the president and casting of doubt on Priebus are designed to play to Trump's ego. But it's also a play on Trump's paranoia.
As the president grows increasingly frustrated and politically isolated, his vulnerability to his own psychology will grow. We already know that Trump cannot handle criticism or perceived disloyalty. In turn, Scaramucci's portrayal of Priebus as a hidden enemy is perfectly timed. The former has just started at a White House fraught with mistrust and intrigue, and the latter has overseen that intrigue.
Where does all this lead? Scaramucci looks set to displace Priebus as the president's right hand man. By effectively labelling Priebus as untrustworthy and disloyal to the president, Scaramucci has openly challenged Priebus' authority and credibility. Priebus, however, has not responded.
From my perspective, it seems that Priebus has already given up.