Recently-ousted communications director Anthony Scaramucci tweeted that New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza — who published a revealing interview with the Mooch that preceded his firing — “is the Linda Tripp of 2017.”
.@RyanLizza is the Linda Tripp of 2017. People know. And he is up at night not being able to live with himself.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) August 10, 2017
Tripp was a White House staffer in the late ‘90s who secretly recorded conversations she had with her friend and colleague Monica Lewinsky about Lewinsky’s admitted sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton. The tapes were then used in the investigation of the infamous Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.
Scaramucci seems to be connecting Tripp’s wiretapping espionage to Lizza’s explosive New Yorker article from late July. Lizza recently published a story detailing an expletive-laden phone call with Scaramucci in which the former comms director threatened to “fucking kill” all White House leakers, said former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” and said Steve Bannon was “trying to suck [his] own cock.” The Mooch was fired days after his comments were made public.
Former theater agent Roland Scahill asked Scaramucci to clarify his comparison between Lizza and Tripp, tweeting “are you accusing [Lizza] of taping the call without your permission?” Scaramucci responded “Yes. He absolutely taped the call without my permission.”
As Lizza made clear in the story, however, at no point did Scaramucci ask the that conversation be off the record (journalist-speak for confidential). In fact, the New Yorker said in a statement to Axios that at one point in the conversation, "Scaramucci requested that one part be off the record, and we respected that. The rest was on the record.”
What’s more, both New York and Washington, DC, are what’s called “one-party consent states” which makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on a phone conversation unless one party to the conversation consents. In this case, Lizza certainly consented.
As Scaramucci’s tweet gained traction online, Monica Lewinsky retweeted it with a wide-eyed emoji.