“He Just Wanted to Be on TV”: Trump vs. The Mooch
No one made as big of an impact in as little time as Anthony Scaramucci did in his ultra-brief tenure as White House communications director in 2017. Lasting a total of 11 days in the position, The Mooch came to solidify his status as an almost legendary figure inside the administration, out-Trumping the president himself with his wild press conferences and off-the-rails interviews with the media. Unfortunately for Scaramucci, Trump doesn’t care for people whose voices are louder and more colorful than his own. This is his show, and he wants to be the main showman. The writing was on the wall for The Mooch, who was quickly shown the door.
Since then, Scaramucci has become a relatively frequent fixture on cable news, where he does the usual opining about the administration. Ordinarily speaking from a pro-Trump bent, Scaramucci has appeared on CNN and MSNBC dozens (if not more) times over the last two years, offering his analysis on the political news of the day.
This week, though, his tone changed. Seemingly irritated at Trump’s behavior while visiting El Paso and Dayton, Scaramucci launched into some unusual territory, lashing out at the president for what he saw as inappropriate remarks.
“He’s off the rails,” Scaramucci said. “And the honest people in the room know that he is crazy.”
In an appearance on MSNBC last Thursday, The Mooch said: “The president didn’t do well on the trip. He’d probably be mad at somebody for saying that. Maybe he’ll tweet something negative about somebody for saying he didn’t do well on the trip.”
Assuming that the “somebody” in question was intended to be Scaramucci himself, the Republican investor couldn’t have been more right.
“Scaramucci, who like so many others had nothing to do with my Election victory, is only upset that I didn’t want him back in the Administration (where he desperately wanted to be),” Trump tweeted. “Also, I seldom had time to return his many calls to me. He just wanted to be on TV!”
Trump’s retort has seemingly only revived The Mooch’s appetite for the spotlight; apparently, it’s better to wind up in a high-profile feud with Trump than it is to be (vaguely) remembered for a week-and-a-half stint in the administration. In an interview with The New York Times on Monday, Scaramucci went even further in his criticism of Trump, insisting that the president was using his power to single out individual Americans.
“The president is obviously a bully,” he said. “He is the president of all Americans, but he is singling out specific Americans to cyberbully them.”
But after a media blitz, in which Scaramucci did everything up to and including comparing Trump to the Chernobyl disaster, the White House officially weighed in.
“He worked at the White House for less than two weeks and is certainly no expert on this president,” said Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary. “This is all self-serving on his part, and the media plays right into it. It’s embarrassing to watch.”