NEW YORK (AP) — As tensions between the Trump administration and the press continue, members of the media are getting support from an unlikely source — former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
Scaramucci said he takes issue with the president’s recent comments praising a congressman’s violence against a reporter and is speaking out about the hate and divisiveness that he sees coming out of President Donald Trump’s rallies.
Scaramucci said he is especially concerned about the president applauding U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a journalist last year, an act for which he pleaded guilty to assault. At a rally in Montana, Trump said “any guy that can do a body slam — he’s my guy.”
“I would not be using those words because those words are holding back your approval rating,” Scaramucci said. “Because there are some very smart pragmatic people that really like your policies, and they also have a very good understanding of history. And they also know the doctrine of unintended consequences.”
Scaramucci spent a turbulent 11 days as White House communications director before being unceremoniously fired following an expletive-ridden interview with The New Yorker.
But Scaramucci landed on his feet and has a new book on the shelves, “Trump: The Blue-Collar President,” as well as being the subject of “Mooch,” a documentary film that goes from being a hedge fund financier to being fired by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
While Scaramucci considers himself a conservative, he sets himself apart from many on the right with his abortion-rights and marriage equality stances. That also puts him at odds with the White House, especially with the administration’s new position on defining gender at birth, which is something he blames on the heat of the midterm elections.
“I understand what he’s doing. But it’s a bad idea, because we’ve made a lot of social progress in those areas, and the president has real responsibility among every other responsibility is to be the president for everybody,” Scaramucci said.
Scaramucci feels the president’s positive message often gets lost both domestically and abroad. He views the president as a hero of the working class — a billionaire who can still understand the plight of the American worker. That’s something he feels has been forgotten by politicians on both sides of the aisle in recent years.
He said he sees the role of the president to be the protector of equal rights and due process under the law, and says Trump should act that way, instead of politically. Scaramucci has previously criticized Trump’s statements about white nationalists and said some of the president’s policies disturb him because he always felt that Trump wasn’t a political person, describing him as “the most agnostic ideologically.”
Now Trump’s onetime White House message crafter claims Trump almost gleefully likes to attack the left and the media at rallies and online, calling him a “human wrecking ball.”
“He’s taking his thumb and he’s putting it right in your eye, right by where your eye meets the bridge of your nose. He wants to see if he can pop that eyeball out. He likes doing that. He also knows that his base likes to see him do that because they voted in a human wrecking ball to demolish aspects of the society that they don’t like, which unfortunately includes elements of the media,” Scaramucci said.
That concerns Scaramucci, who believes the First Amendment goes beyond keeping tyranny and autocracy in check. He also sees a free press as an important component for “economic innovation.”
Both the documentary, “Mooch,” and the book, “Trump: The Blue-Collar President” were released on Tuesday. The movie is currently on iTunes, and will be released via video on demand on Nov. 6.
Scaramucci, who jokingly measures time in mooches, a unit equal to approximately 11 days, said he doesn’t necessarily like the version of himself he often sees on screen, but feels director Andrew J. Moscato was accurate. “It’s like a face slam to the mat in terms of the realness of what you really are as a person.”
So after, as he described it, being “blown out of the White House onto Pennsylvania Avenue… that’s not enough for these losers in Washington, so they put me in a sausage grinder. Then they put me in a case and shipped me back to New York.”
But Scaramucci found a way to relax — by dancing. “Each day I did a little bit of interpretive dance to show what was happening to me on that day,” he said. “It’s very therapeutic.”
Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci
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