The Tab meets Scaramucci at the Union
‘The Mooch’ on Trump, those ten days and Twitter
Anthony Scaramucci is a man whose legacy is a ten day stint as Trump's Communications Advisor before being fired by General John Kelly, a man Scaramucci described as "a great American", at the Cambridge Union on Wednesday. Scaramucci appeared keen to alter this legacy, as he informed the audience how quickly people forget his credentials as a Harvard Law grad and entrepreneur.
On his firing, he said he was naturally "bummed out", and that his son had noted this, which he told the audience was an opportunity for his son to understand how to move on from crises he may face in his life. He also noted that, as an Italian American, he felt he had been subject to "racial profiling" during his ten days in the White House, noting that he had been called a "goombah" in the press, a slang term with connotations to the mafia.
Scaramucci appeared to want to discuss the vulnerability that stems from scrutiny of those in the public eye; however, his attitude, whereby he described how he had to dust himself off and "take it" (noting his motto that there should be a "no whining policy" in both sport and politics), suggested that this was perhaps not in his nature.
Before the talk, when Scaramucci walked into the room to be interviewed, he asked those of us who were from various Cambridge publications, "why are journalists all liberal?" There was no punchline. When I asked him if he would have advised Trump differently, had he still been in the job, on his use of Twitter, he responded, "it doesn't matter what my advice is, because the President is going to use it as he sees fit. He's not going to listen to you. Is there some level of risk taking in the way he uses Twitter? Of course, but he's an entrepreneur and entrepreneurs know, and this is why I have no regrets by the way, that you are going to make mistakes".
Scaramucci was, naturally, quizzed a great deal on social media – specifically, Trump's use of Twitter. He spoke of how he believed Trump managed to send out an "incredible message" through his use of the platform, and insisted it was part of the reason he won the election. He reminisced on how, on one of the three trips he took on Air Force One, he watched Trump "take out his Samsung" in response to watching CNN, and would tweet "to set the hair on fire of the journalists", referring to the tweets as a Molotov cocktail. He detailed his pleasure as the tweets would role across the screen of the television, and they "would watch [the journalists'] hair catch fire".
When asked if politics is a platform for his own personal ambition, he said that he didn't know, that he "stumbled into politics accidentally" and spoke about his political deviations over the years, floating from Democrat to Republican due to personal relationships with those running, noting that he went to law school with Obama and knew both Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, all of whom he supported over the course of the election. He stopped, paused and asked back, "What do you think? Do you think I should be in politics? I don't think I have the right personality for it, to be honest. I'm a very up-front person. So I'm going to tell you exactly how I feel about things – I'm not going to sugarcoat it in that political, Orwellian-speak kind of way." He felt that "most people can't handle the truth, so they want their politicians to be less honest."
Scaramucci consistently defended Trump, and despite admitting that prior to the election he had "never seen him as a politician," there seemed to be a wall up that refused to let him criticise Trump. He called him a "war avoider, not a war starter," despite actions that may suggest otherwise. When asked why this was the case, he spoke about the media taking the 3D and turning them into 2D, and of the importance of denouncing violence. He referred to Trump as a globalist, before moving onto the topic of global warming, stating he was "not a climate change denier," but that "it is 60% caused by human beings and 40% about where we are relative to the sun and what kind of activity is going on the sun." As the audience began laughing, he told them, "you’ve gotta do more research."
As our interview was ending, he told us, "if I run guys, you don't have to worry, because it'll be in the United States." Perhaps he sees his career in politics going beyond the ten days. If I were an American, I think I'd be a tad worried.