In the aftermath of a particularly bizarre episode from the Trump-White House, former communications director Anthony Scaramucci this week lashed out at New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza for recording their phone call in an on-the-record interview initiated by Scaramucci, and in Washington, D.C., which has a one-party consent law.
In one tweet, he compared Lizza to Linda Tripp, the woman who notoriously recorded a phone call with then-22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky confessing to her affair with former President Bill Clinton.
“.@RyanLizza is the Linda Tripp of 2017. People know. And he is up at night not being able to live with himself,” Scaramucci wrote in a Wednesday night tweet.
.@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
Surely, the aftermath of Scaramucci’s removal at the will of new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been humiliating for Scaramucci, but beyond that, there is no comparison between his experience and Lewinsky’s.
Lewinsky called Tripp as a vulnerable young woman with a secret and nowhere to turn. When the affair reached the national spotlight, not only was she the subject of degrading, traumatic, and heartbreakingly sexist attacks, but her professional future and personal safety were immediately jeopardized.
Scaramucci, on the other hand, initiated the call with Lizza with the full knowledge it would be on the record, and used it to throw around cuss words and defame his own co-workers. He walks away from the White House a wealthy and powerful man, who is just going to have to learn to put up with being the brunt of a joke or two.
The ridiculousness of it all was missed by no one on Twitter — least of all Lewinsky herself, who responded to the comparison by Scaramucci by quoting his tweet and inserting what appears to be a concerned, “this is kind of awkward…” emoji:
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) August 10, 2017
And, indeed, Scaramucci’s tweet was hardly one worth responding to with words.