Email prankster 'stirred Scaramucci row by fooling White House officials into replying'
A British "email prankster" reportedly tricked a number of White House officials, including Anthony Scaramucci and the president's point person on cyber security.
The individual, who describes himself as a "lazy anarchist" on Twitter, posed as recently fired chief of staff Reince Priebus when he emailed Mr Scaramucci, days after the new White House director of communication had lambasted Mr Priebus in a foul-mouthed tirade to a reporter.
Using a mail.com account, he messaged Mr Scaramucci on Saturday, CNN reported, the day after Mr Priebus's departure.
"I had promised myself I would leave my hands mud free," wrote the fake Mr Priebus, who shared the correspondence with the US broadcaster.
"But after reading your tweet today which stated how; 'soon we will learn who in the media who has class, and who hasn't', has pushed me to this.
"That tweet was breathtakingly hypocritical, even for you. At no stage have you acted in a way that's even remotely classy, yet you believe that's the standard by which everyone should behave towards you? General (John) Kelly will do a fine job. I'll even admit he will do a better job than me. But the way in which that transition has come about has been diabolical. And hurtful. I don't expect a reply."
Not realising the email was a hoax, Mr Scaramucci responded: "You know what you did. We all do. Even today. But rest assured we were prepared. A Man would apologise."
The email exchange reportedly ended with Mr Scaramucci, who was himself fired on Monday, saying: "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."
As well as fooling Mr Scaramucci a second time, this time posing as Ambassador to Russia-designate Jon Huntsman, the prankster is said to have caught out Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, the White House official tasked with cyber security.
Posing as Jared Kushner, the person apparently even received Mr Bossert's private email address unsolicited.
"Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August," the fake Mr Kushner reportedly wrote, using an Outlook account. "It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible (sic) quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening."
Bossert wrote back: "Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can't refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is" (redacted).
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged the incidents and told CNN they were being treated seriously. "We take all cyber related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further," she said.
Mr Hunstman was also reportedly fooled by the prankster, who posed as the president's son, Eric Trump.
The only person who realised he was a hoaxer was Eric Trump. After initially believing he was being emailed by his brother Donald Trump Jr, he soon caught on and responded: "I have sent this to law enforcement who will handle from here."