Reince Priebus, the embattled White House chief of staff, has begun calling allies for advice on how to fight back against a campaign of private lobbying that this week erupted into a civil war at the heart of Donald Trump’s administration.
Factional fighting behind the scenes exploded into public view on Thursday when Anthony Scaramucci, Donald Trump’s new communications director, launched a foul-mouthed tirade against Mr Priebus.
As a Republican Party stalwart, he finds himself increasingly isolated among the political newcomers and New York millionaires that staff Mr Trump’s unconventional White House.
Insiders say he is well aware of his position and is debating whether to jump before he is pushed.
“He figured he would do the job for a year and now is trying to work out if that is possible – and if that is what he wants,” said a Republican insider, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Other reports suggested he was sounding out allies as part of an effort to fight back.
He had opposed the hiring of Mr Scaramucci and saw one of his allies, Sean Spicer, resign in protest.
In a further snub, the new director of communications has made clear that he answers only to the president rather than the chief of staff.
He appeared on CNN on Thursday morning and all but accused Mr Priebus of being the source of damaging leaks.
Hours later, a New Yorker reporter published details of a telephone conversation during which Mr Scaramucci threatened to fire his own communications team as he searched for White House moles.
He also delivered a profanity-laden description of Mr Preibus as a “paranoid schizophrenic” and said he would soon be asked to resign.
I made a mistake in trusting in a reporter. It won’t happen again.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 28, 2017
Observers pointed out that Mr Scaramucci, nicknamed the Mooch, had been channelling his boss.
“The Mooch is a New Yorker like me,”…