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Donald Trump

‘I know what you did’: read Scaramucci’s email slanging match with prankster posing as Reince Priebus

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 9:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 12:58pm

A British prankster who posed as former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus to trick the White House’s short-lived communications chief Anthony Scaramucci into an email slanging match has said he targeted him because he used “paranoid schizophrenic” as an insult.

The anonymous hoaxer, believed to be a 39-year-old from Manchester who has had mental health problems, pretended to be Scaramucci’s White House rival Priebus and baited him by saying that he was “breathtakingly hypocritical” and “at no stage have you acted in a way that is remotely classy”.

Scaramucci, who was fired by Trump on Monday following a foul-mouthed outburst at White House colleagues, apparently believed he was having an email conversation with Priebus and replied: “You know what you did. We all do. Even today. But rest assured we were prepared. A Man would apologize.”

The prankster uses the pseudonym Sinon Reborn, after the spy Sinon who conned the Trojans into taking the wooden horse into Troy in Virgil’s Aeneid.

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The hoaxer replied: “I can’t believe you are questioning my ethics! The so-called ‘Mooch’, who can’t even manage his first week in the White House without leaving upset in his wake. I have nothing to apologize for.”

Scaramucci fired back: “Read Shakespeare. Particularly Othello. You are right there. My family is fine by the way and will thrive. I know what you did. No more replies from me.”

The prankster, whose online profile says he works full-time, pranks as a hobby and has three cats. He has previously duped the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and Barclays boss Jess Staley by setting up fake email accounts. In the last month he has claimed to have pulled off a string of of hoaxes involving senior Trump administration figures, including pretending to be Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, his sons Eric and Donald Jnr, and Jon Huntsman Jnr, the next US ambassador to Russia.

Excerpts of email conversations purporting to be with members of Trump’s inner circle posted by the hoaxer on Twitter appear to show Eric Trump, Huntsman and Scaramucci all responding to him. The Guardian has not been able to verify the excerpts, but the White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckerbee Saunders, said: “We take all cyber-related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further.”

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Earlier this year, Sinon Reborn raised a question about his hoaxes by running a poll on Twitter that asked: “Do you think everything I post is real? I’m intrigued to know how my pranks are perceived.”

The suspected email breaches in Washington compound the embarrassment for the White House after Scaramucci was fired after just 10 days in the job, during which he described Priebus as “a f****** paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” in a phone conversation with a journalist from the New Yorker.

Sinon Reborn said on Twitter on Tuesday: “I targeted Scaramucci as I’ve suffered from mental health problems all my life, and he seems to think paranoid schizophrenia is a putdown.” He said he “was in rehab 3 months ago”. But he appeared to be enjoying his moment of fame and said: “Just goes to show. Follow your calling, even if it seems utterly mental and unconventional. Life is fun at times.”

He also told the White House: “FYI I won’t be pranking you any longer, point made. I’m just a dude with a iPhone, you need to tighten up IT policy. love xx”