That kind of competition has exhausted even some of Mr. Trumpâs most loyal defenders. But Mr. Trump has openly told people that he has lost faith in Mr. Priebus. He has said he wants âa generalâ as chief of staff, and has focused on John F. Kelly, the retired four-star Marine now serving as homeland security secretary. Many of his advisers, however, consider that a bad idea.
Mr. Scaramucci, who has so emulated Mr. Trumpâs style that colleagues privately call him âMini-Me,â made clear in his conversation with The New Yorkerâs Ryan Lizza that he is trying to push Mr. Priebus out. âReince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,â he said. Mr. Scaramucci complained that Mr. Priebus had prevented him from getting a job in the White House until now, saying he âblocked Scaramucci for six months.â
In the same telephone call, Mr. Scaramucci disparaged Mr. Bannon. âIâm not Steve Bannon. Iâm not trying to suck my own cock,â he said. âIâm not trying to build my own brandâ on the presidentâs coattails.
âIâm here to serve the country,â he added.
Mr. Priebus finds himself isolated inside the White House. He has lost the support of Mr. Trumpâs family, and other senior aides have long bristled at his demeanor or suspected he was trying to undermine them. Allies like Mr. Spicer are gone or leaving. And some complain that Mr. Priebus used the White House communications office as his own personal fief.
Lately Mr. Trump has resumed subjecting him to frequent indignities in front of the White House staff. According to one aide, the president, who had ceased for a time, has regularly mentioned how Mr. Priebus suggested that Mr. Trump consider dropping out of the presidential race last October after a tape of him boasting about grabbing women by the genitals emerged. âDo you remember when Reince did that?â the president has asked associates. The issue has always been a sore spot between the two men.
Mr. Priebus endured the hazing in silence, as he generally has, and the White House did nothing to defend him against Mr. Scaramucciâs tirade. Mr. Scaramucci released a statement after the New Yorker article was published that fell well short of an apology.
âI sometimes use colorful language,â he said on Twitter. âI will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @RealDonaldTrumpâs agenda.â
Ms. Sanders said mildly that Mr. Scaramucci was simply expressing strong feelings, and that his statement made clear that âheâs a passionate guy and sometimes he lets that passion get the better of him.â She added, âI donât think heâll do it again.â
But later in the evening, Mr. Scaramucci shifted blame. âI made a mistake in trusting in a reporter,â he wrote on Twitter. âIt wonât happen again.â Mr. Lizza wrote that Mr. Scaramucci never asked to be off the record.
Mr. Priebusâs plight was good news for another member of the Trump team. For the first time in a week, it was not Attorney General Jeff Sessionsâs turn to be the presidential punching bag.
During a visit to El Salvador, Mr. Sessions acknowledged to The Associated Press that âit hasnât been my best weekâ in his ârelationship with the president.â Speaking to Fox News, he added, âItâs kind of hurtful, but the president of the United States is a strong leader. He is determined to move this country in the direction that he believes it needs to go to make it great again.â
So many figures inside Mr. Trumpâs orbit have been declared on their way out that it takes a scorecard to keep track. Aside from Mr. Priebus and Mr. Sessions, many wonder about the future of Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser whose Afghanistan war plan was rejected by the president last week. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson disappeared for a few days off, stoking speculation that he may leave. (âRexit,â it was called on Twitter.) And the president, who has already fired one F.B.I. director, this week called for the acting head of the bureau to be dismissed too.
The clash between Mr. Scaramucci and Mr. Priebus offers a case study in how the Trump White House operates, a conflict divorced from facts, untethered from the basics of how government works, enabled by the lack of any organizational structure and driven by ambition, fear, animosity and envy.
The genesis was a dinner hosted Wednesday night by Mr. Trump at the White House that included Mr. Scaramucci; Sean Hannity and Kimberly Guilfoyle, the Fox News hosts; and Bill Shine, a former Fox executive.
Ms. Guilfoyle told the president that Mr. Priebus was a problem and a leaker, someone who was not serving his agenda, according to a person briefed on the conversation. (A Fox spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.)
Mr. Scaramucci grew angry afterward that Mr. Lizza had learned that the dinner was taking place and that Politico had obtained his government financial disclosure form. At that point, he called Mr. Lizza, demanding to know his source, whom the reporter refused to divulge.
âO.K., Iâm going to fire every one of them, and then you havenât protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks,â Mr. Scaramucci replied.
After hanging up, Mr. Scaramucci posted a message on Twitter asserting that the âleakâ of his disclosure form was a âfelonyâ and that he would seek an F.B.I. investigation. He included Mr. Priebusâs Twitter handle, a move that was interpreted as blaming the chief of staff.
But it was no leak. The disclosure form is supposed to be made public under federal law and all Politico did was ask for it under normal procedures. Mr. Scaramucci deleted the tweet. But on Thursday morning, he called into CNN with Mr. Trumpâs encouragement, and threw down the gauntlet with Mr. Priebus on live television.
âWe have had odds. We have had differences,â Mr. Scaramucci said on CNN. âWhen I said we were brothers from the podium, thatâs because weâre rough on each other. Some brothers are like Cain and Abel. Other brothers can fight with each other and get along. I donât know if this is reparable or not. That will be up to the president.â
Some of Mr. Trumpâs supporters said Mr. Scaramucci was causing more harm than good.
âI would say right now that heâs being more pugnacious than effective,â Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, told the radio host Laura Ingraham. âI think he ought to slow down a little bit and learn what heâs doing.â