Prankster says he targeted Scaramucci over mental health insult

A British prankster who tricked the former White House 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 Reince 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 Reibus 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.

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 Jr, and Jon Huntsman Jr, 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.”

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 fucking 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”

In one hoax email exchange shown to CNN in which he apparently posed as Kushner, the hoaxer wrote to the official White House email account of the homeland security adviser Tom Bossert: “We are arranging a bit of a soiree towards the end of August. 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 replied: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that I can’t refuse. Also if you ever need it my personal email is [redacted].”

After Sinon Reborn sent a hoax note to Huntsman Jr posing as Eric Trump, the future ambassador to Russia replied: “Thanks for a thoughtful note. Russia will be a challenging but no doubt rewarding assignment. Best to your family. … Hope to connect at some point.”

Fake Eric replied: “Oh you’re welcome, Jon. Maybe we could have Dad sat on a horse, top off, giving the full Putin! He’s in better shape than his suit suggest [sic].”

Extracts from fake emails

Fake Reince Priebus to real Anthony Scaramucci


Personally I’d get rid of dumb and dumber, the Trump sons. Seeing them posing with various bits of animal they’ve shot is the biggest overcompensation for under developed testicles I’ve ever had the misfortune to see … In my humble, Anthony.

Fake Anthony Habgood (chairman of the court of the Bank of England) to Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor


I’m having a Summer Nights-themed soiree on Saturday 17 June. As much martini as you can take. Are you free?

Carney: Sounds ideal. Will check at home and at work.

Habgood: Excellent. I’ve hired some rather dashing bar ladies (is that PC?). If you ask for the crystal glasses, you’ll be able to admire their enchanting dexterity. I keep those glasses low down, ha! You don’t reach my age without knowing all the tricks.

Carney: Sorry Anthony. Not appropriate at all.

Fake Priebus to Scaramucci


I had promised myself I would leave my hands mud-free, but after reading your tweet today, which states how ‘soon we will learn who in the media 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.


Scaramucci: You know what you did. We all do. Even today. But rest assured we were prepared. A Man would apologize.


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