Meh, whatever. The only former Trump cabinet officials this guy’s talking to are the voices inside his own h— [record scratch]
Anthony Scaramucci dined with the former U.S ambassador Nikki Haley ten days before publicly withdrawing his support from Donald Trump and warning Republicans the president ‘eventually turns on everyone’.
The former White House aide, 55, was seen ‘in deep discussion’ with Ms Haley at a Harlem restaurant just over a week before he suggested the Republican Party had better find another leader for the 2020 elections…
The pair’s sighting, which was reported by Page Six today, comes after the former White House communications director said Trump was on the verge of a meltdown and told members of the Republican party to consider replacing the president.
Mooch can talk ’til he’s blue in the face, he’ll never recruit Haley to the Trump Alums Against Trump supergroup he’s trying to form. She’s the only former cabinet official I can think of who has a legit shot at the 2024 nomination. She won’t throw that away.
But might John Kelly say something?
Might Kirstjen Nielsen?
Might Rex Tillerson?
Might Gary Cohn?
Might Don McGahn?
Might … James Mattis?
I can see it. Maybe not Mattis and Kelly: I don’t know how well it would sit with former four-star generals to impugn the commander-in-chief’s basic fitness for office. And from what I’ve read, Mattis’s relationship with Trump wasn’t nearly as personally contentious as Kelly’s was. But might the rest of the people I named speak up against POTUS? Sure, it’s conceivable. The difficulty for Scaramucci in convincing them to do so is that they obviously stand to lose more than they stand to gain. Those who are independently wealthy, like Tillerson, Cohn, and Mooch himself, might be free to speak their minds but what do you do if you’re someone like Nielsen, who’s not even 50 years old and has made a career of serving Republican administrations in Washington? If you join Mooch’s team of anti-Trump Avengers, you may never work in GOP politics again — and meanwhile you’d remain a hated figure on the left because of your work implementing Trump’s immigration policies.
Which is why, I take it, Scaramucci has been pressing lately in his media appearances for some sort of path back to respectability for ex-Trumpers willing to turn on POTUS. It’s not just for his own sake that he’s calling for that, I think, it’s for the sake of those like Nielsen who might be gettable in this effort but at last check were boycott targets of the left for their roles in Trump’s administration. If they’re going to make themselves pariahs to most of the right, they need to know they at least won’t be boycotted by the left if they find gainful employment somewhere.
“We recognize that the president is a clear and present danger to the American society, the American culture. There are many people inside the White House and in the Cabinet. I would ask the left to let’s create an off-ramp for those people because when you’re trying to deprogram people from a cult, one of the first things you have to do is allow them to change their mind, and you have to allow them to have the space to change their mind,” Scaramucci said Sunday in a Fox News interview.
He’s offered his own contrition too as part of the deal:
SCARAMUCCI in a text about his past support of Trump: “I am owning my mistake. We can debate the lateness or timing, but I own it. He is shaming and bullying me to prevent others from speaking the truth.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 19, 2019
The insta-reaction among righties if he does manage to put together some ex-Trumpers to speak out against POTUS will be “WHO CARES?” but it depends on the nature of the criticism. If the gist of their complaint is that he’s a bad guy and a bully, well, then, yes, who cares? They’re not telling us anything we didn’t know. If the gist, rather, is that they believe Trump is *unstable*, that may do damage. Lots of voters suspect that too but it’s one thing to be a rando watching him rant on the teevee and another to be a former cabinet member who’s interacted with him behind closed doors sharing your experiences with the world.
Remember the splash that mysterious NYT op-ed authored by a member of “the Resistance” inside the administration made last year? This would be an order of magnitude beyond that. The sheer novelty of seeing a group of former cabinet members assembling to warn voters not to reelect their old boss would make it newsy. Nothing anymore short of wars and recessions moves huge numbers of voters in our hyperpolarized age but a gaggle of Trump alumns claiming that they fear for the country if he’s given another four more years might shift a few in Michigan, which could be decisive. I doubt Scaramucci will be able to pull it off but I wouldn’t treat it as a nothingburger if he does.