Scaramucci: Leakers who disclosed foreign policy secrets would've 'been hung' in past

Scaramucci: Leakers who disclosed foreign policy secrets would've 'been hung' in past
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White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday that leakers who disclosed information related to national security or military operations used to be hanged for their "treasonous" actions.

"The White House leaks are small potatoes relative to the things that are going on leaking things about Syria or North Korea, or leaking things about Iraq," Scaramucci told CNN’s “New Day” in a phone interview. "Those are the types of leaks that are so treasonous that 150 years ago, people would have actually been hung for those types of leaks."

The remark comes as the new communications chief wages a war on leakers.

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Scaramucci, a former hedge fund owner, said Wednesday that he plans to escalate his efforts to weed out senior White House staff who have "junior people to leak for them." 

"I know I'm in a cesspool called Washington, or a swamp called Washington, so it will be virtually impossible to get rid of every leak, but I think we can take dramatic steps," he told Fox News host Sean Hannity. 

"There are rumors that I'm firing more people," Scaramucci said on Air Force One on Tuesday, according to a pool report. "I'm not firing any more people, at least for now."

"If the leaks continue, then I've got to let everybody go," he continued, adding that he believes some leaks are coming from the very communications office he's now leading.

While Scaramucci has walked back that earlier threat to fire everyone in the White House press shop in order to root out possible leakers, he escalated his feud with chief of staff Reince Priebus on Thursday, insinuating publicly that he is a leaker. 

Scaramucci's comments on Tuesday came shortly after White House press aide Michael Short resigned earlier in the day.