Aug 13, 2017, 9:58 AM ET

Scaramucci criticizes Trump's reaction to Charlottesville violence

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Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci had harsh words for President Donald Trump's reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend.

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Scaramucci spoke to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' "This Week" today in his first television interview since his whirlwind 11-day stint in the White House.

"I wouldn't have recommended that statement," Scaramucci said of Trump's words on Saturday from Bedminster, New Jersey. "I think he would have needed to have been much harsher."

"With the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out," Scaramucci said, referring to Trump's seeming unwillingness to condemn the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, where clashes between white nationalists and counter-protest groups forced the city to declare a state of emergency Saturday.

Scaramucci went on to criticize the influence of the website Breitbart and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who was the executive chairman of Breitbart before joining the Trump campaign and later the administration, saying that there's "this sort of 'Bannon-bart' influence" in the White House that he thinks "is a snag on the president."

When asked by Stephanopoulos if that influence stemmed from Bannon, Scaramucci said, "I think the president knows what he's going to do with Steve Bannon."

"Let's leave it up to the president. It's his decision, but at the end of the day, the president has a very good idea of who the leakers are inside the White House. The president has a very good idea of the people who are undermining his agenda that are serving their own interests," Scaramucci added.

Asked if that included Bannon, Scaramucci said "well yeah," before saying "I would prefer to let the president make the decisions the president needs to make."

Scaramucci spoke further about the bombastic phone call that he had with New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza, during which he criticized a number of his then-colleagues, including then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Bannon. Scaramucci today said that “for the record, I thought that was off the record.”

PHOTO: ABC News George Stephanopoulos interviews Anthony Scaramucci on This Week, Aug. 13, 2017. ABC News
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos interviews Anthony Scaramucci on 'This Week,' Aug. 13, 2017.

He called Lizza’s decision to record the call “a very deceitful thing that he did.”

“Obviously I paid the consequences,” Scaramucci said, later noting that he feels he made “an unforced error.”

When asked if he thought he deserved to be fired, Scaramucci said that "well obviously I wished they would've given me a bar of soap and told me to wash my mouth out in the bathroom and move on."

He said that with the addition of retired Gen. John Kelly as the new chief of staff after Priebus's dismissal, "It was going to be very hard for me to stay in the job."

"My feeling about the whole thing is that what happened was sort of meant to happen," he added.

Stephanopoulos noted how political consultant and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone likened Scaramucci to a political suicide bomber, but Scaramucci said that he viewed himself closer to the character from 'Pulp Fiction' who cleaned up after murders had taken place.

"Listen, I saw it more as like Mr. Wolf from ‘Pulp Fiction.’ You know, I really did get a directive from the president. I had a mutual understanding with him. And I was probably running too hard and acting more like a corporate CEO than I was say a political operative, and that is my mistake," he said.

He admitted he "absolutely" made mistakes but said, "I went in there with my heart and soul."

Scaramucci is still a supporter of Trump's, saying that the president "can be a tough coach at times" but "this guy's a winner."

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  • ryan

    Listen, you want to be a moron and play stupid games, you'll win stupid prizes. You don't get a free pass on the far left or right in this one and Trump was right to criticize both extremist sides because they both played the stupid game and both got the stupid, violent prize. There is a reason the world relies on balance, and crumbles when it leans in either direction.

  • Urban Legend

    Muchas a bigger joke than--well-mooch's husband...

  • SaveRMiddle

    Ick

  • KJK

    The worm has turned.

  • bleedsorangenblue

    From kissing Trump's behind to calling him out for treading softly on a segment of the population that supported him (Trump) in the election. Oh, Scaramouche, if you had had less ambition and more loyalty to your own real beliefs, you might have actually been able to have had that career you just flushed away.

  • Roger

    We know we're in trouble when someone as caustic and foul mouthed as scaramucci sounds more reasonable than our president

  • justin lee

    Indeed.

  • b rubble

    Trump presidency puts new meaning in "White" house. Make America hate again!

  • addmichael

    Wonder how Anthony feels being interviewed about Russia's influence on our elections by a guy who
    gave Hillary Clinton's (ahem,) "foundation" $50,000?

  • Freddie Nerk

    Trump wont fire Bannon because he is afraid Breitbart and other right wing media will turn on him. He is indebted to these bigots. He would rather not confront racism and anti-semitism if it hurts his base. His own daughter is a practising jew, yet he wont defend her. What a slime.

  • Freddie Nerk

    Why is this loser being interviewed? He is still apologizing for Trump. Trumpsters would rather see this country and liberty go to hell than stand up and admit they made a mistake endorsing the dope.

  • GorillaMyDreams

    Trump get rid of Bannon? Unlikely, in my opinion. Trump knows Bannon represents a large portion of his base, and he isn't going to do anything to alienate them. Which also explains his response to the events in Virginia.

  • Lawrence Wilson

    What??????? Somebody still thinks Scarmuchiee could still have anything of relevance to say about anything????

  • Dicazi

    I don't even understand "off the record". Why even talk with someone if they can't tell anyone else about It?
    A local reporter was one of those granted an "audience" with Trump early on. They were allowed to ask pretty much anything and he did answer.
    But it was all "off the record". They were never allowed to say what was even asked, let alone his answers.
    Waste of time and money, in my opinion.

  • j penske

    Interesting that if he were still communications director, he'd be defending everything Trump was saying. Just wait til he fires Sessions, we'll see what Sessions says about Trump.

  • Galaxy111

    If Obama would be president he would call this "Protest Place Violence".

  • Musquash1

    Trump has no moral authority. He's terrified of offending his base. And much of his base comes from the white supremacists, most of whom are uneducated and uninformed.

  • addmichael

    Good job Pravda...youre an embarrassment to what you are suppose to be....

  • ShadyLane

    Who cares what one dim-wit has to say about another dim-wit...?

  • addmichael

    Wow ABC censored me...I said nothing offense or untrue...Geo. gave Hillary Clinton's Foundation 50k. This is true. I simply wondered how Anthony felt about this when Geo. questioned him about Russia influencing an election...and I was censored....speaks volumes....First Amendment RIP

  • Galaxy111

    Its so sad what has happened....BUT where was the "liberal peace equality activists" when the "liberal terrorist" shot into the republican baseball game? And shot the congressman?

  • Ex_ATC

    I lost an uncle, who's B-17 went down over Germany in WW2, FTFTWMF.

  • Sheila

    why is this guy still relevant? Who cares about him? Unless eh has dirt to spill, he needs to fade away.

  • Dicazi

    Who calls a reporter to speak "off the record"??

  • Barbara Jungbauer

    He did go to a Trump rally.

  • Cackalaquiano

    Mooch has already been canned so he has nothing left to lose. But the rest of the Trump administration?

  • Prophet With Honor

    He was famous for ten days , why give him more? It's obvious that his motive now is to cause discord in the WH as payback for being dumped .

  • Timehascome

    I really wonder ABC...why your News Group even took the time and effort to do a story on this Idiot Mooch??
    How about a story on...what makes the color Red...Red???
    Useless reporting on one loud mouth Bigot, instead of a pleasant story...maybe???

  • John Smith

    How's that new Chief of Staff, Kelly working out so far? Looks like he has no control of the office as well. Trump is blurting out and saying whatever he wants to say in public and on twitter. His comments this week on several fronts including North Korea and now his silence on this Charlottesville Alt-Right uprising is a moral failure on Trump and his administration.

  • Frank Kozamer

    Trump was elected because the American people were sick to death of both the Democrats and the Republicans. So you could say that the establishment parties and there lies drove the American voter into the arms of Trump. He was seen as the only alternative to the dim wit Dems and the Repulsive Republicans. So blame yourselves and the monopoly you have had on the American political system for centuries.

  • John Richter

    Did Trump offer to pay the legal fees for anyone arrested for violence directed at people protesting him?

  • Frank Kozamer

    People are angry with the politicians who promise one thing and do another. This anger has been simmering for a long time with people fed up with the liberal media and their endorsement of Open Borders allowing millions of Ill eg als into the country, burdening the American Tax payers. Trump won the election on the promise of building a wall along our southern borders and not getting involved in foreign wars, but he not kept a single promise.

  • TexasVulcan

    Bill Hader did a great Scaramucci Thursday on Weekend Update.

  • Your Worst Nightmare

    The Mooch says that Trump is a "Winner"

    He wasn't around long enough to learn that winning is a zero sum game with Trump.

    If he's winning, that means that most of us are losing.

  • John Richter

    After the baseball game shooting, congressional republicans, right wing media, and their sponges spent the next three weeks all worked into a lather blaming dem rhetoric. Hypocrites....

  • John Richter

    Poor Trump is being squeezed. Dems are pressuring him to blame white
    nationalists. White nationalist sites such as the Daily Stormer are
    thanking Trump for not blaming them and vow to continue their support of
    him... David Duke is threatening Trump that they put him in office, and
    he better not blame them.... Trump is stuck between his base and
    public image.

  • Dave

    When your entire campaign was built on divisiveness and hate, this is the result. People are absolutely right about the reaction of if this would have been a Muslim. He would have specifically said it. There is no greater enemy to this country right now than this fake president.

  • brokegstring

    The comment made by the "mooch" wasn't a "unforced error", he volunteered his comments without restraint. Everything is "on the record" as a spokesperson. How, suddenly, his opinion is of importance and contributes to understanding the White House, makes no sense. He's one more "kid in a basement" that is a irrelevant troll. Unless his experience of being a pig carries more weight when a pig comments about another pig. He's really in no position to be critical of words spoken by President "Bone Spur", neither one is capable of making positive comments. For Trump, hiring the Mooch is just one more example of Trump's irrational choices in a poor attempt to provide a stable presidential administration.

  • Citizen X

    The most telling part is where the Mooch says the President probably believes the hate/responsibility is equivalent on each side. That is the heart of the matter and speaks to the true nature of Trump's character.

  • JohnC

    Even the Mooch has more sense than Trump

  • Andy1

    "Former White House communications director". Wouldn't overnight White House guest be a more apt description?