Donald Trump is widely known to phone political reporters for their opinions. Often he wants to protest specific criticisms or the tone of their stories. Sometimes he asks how the reporter would react if he, Trump, decided to do this or that. When the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman recalled that during the 2016 campaign, “several advisers privately called Trump ‘leaker-in-chief’ [because] of his tendency to be blurt stuff 2 friends on phone,” we can believe it. And when Mike Allen writes at Axios today that “President Trump, in one of his hallmark rituals, recently called a longtime political associate and asked out of the blue: ‘What would happen if I fired Sessions?’” we can remember many similar stories told by “longtime political associates.”

But the oddest of these moments might have come with the leak of the impending Scaramucci appointment. Jonathan Swan of Axios reported on the evening of July 20 that Trump was likely to name Scaramucci as communications director. It was a genuine scoop that seemed to have come out of nowhere. “President Trump is expected to announce that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci will be White House communications director, according to two sources familiar with the planning,” Swan reported, noting that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus “found out after the plans had already been made.” Hunter Walker, White House reporter for Yahoo! News, tweeted in response: “An administration official tells me Scaramucci ‘hasn’t even interviewed’ for this job.”