Here’s a fun aside from another Trumpland exile who reportedly wants to come back into the fold, courtesy of MSNBC. Anthony Scaramucci famously self-destructed after less than a fortnight inside the White House, taking out Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer as collateral damage, thanks to his own bombastic self-promotion. Eleven days in the West Wing, and the man still gets 20 minutes on national TV. Imagine what Bannon could command now, eh? Well, except for that pesky NDA.
Just to remind people of the context of these remarks, the Mooch modeled being a “team player” by publicly suggesting that Donald Trump fire Jeff Sessions, pulled a McCarthyite “prove your innocence” public accusation on Priebus and then called him a “f*****g paranoid schizophrenic,” and then suggested that Steve Bannon himself engaged in auto-fellatio … figuratively speaking, of course. His team-player days ended with his team members afraid to come to the office with the Mooch in it. Stephanie Ruhle can’t quite buy what the Mooch is slinging, but she’s certainly enjoying it — as will many, because this really is Scaramucci at the top of his game:
SCARAMUCCI: It’s really not about vindication. When you run a business or you try to help a team, you don’t need to feel vindicated. You need to get the team working right and create some level of functionality among the teammates. For me, I don’t necessarily feel vindicated as much as I would like Steve to knock it off and rejoin the team. OK.
RUHLE: When you say rejoin the team what does that mean?
SCARAMUCCI: I think he has a voice in the Republican Party and he needs to knock it off. The way this should work is the president won the election. He’s effectively the head of the Republican Party. There are many different factions inside the Republican Party. Some of us have different philosophical views, different personal views toward each other. But let’s subordinate all that nonsense and work for the president and knock it off.
When people want to know about subordinating the nonsense, Scaramucci’s surely the first name that comes to mind. Ruhle reminds him of his earlier claims about Bannon’s contortionism and suggests that Scaramucci’s engaging in some rhetorical contortions himself:
RUHLE: Anthony, you said six months ago you think that Bannon tried to suck his own penis and now you’re saying he should get on board?
SCARAMUCCI: Let’s talk about that, because you want to bring it up.
Fortunately, auto-fellatio disappears from the conversation at this point. Put that aside, though, and this lengthy exchange should remind everyone why expectations were high when he first came aboard. Scaramucci spends most of his time attacking Michael Wolff’s reporting and the mainstream media while defending Trump, Donald Jr, and Ivanka. Whether or not he intends it as such, there’s certainly no better way to get back into Trump’s good graces than to attack the media on the family’s behalf. When Ruhle asks whether Scaramucci has renewed White House ambitions, though, he takes offense:
RUHLE: Do you want to go back and join the White House?
SCARAMUCCI: Listen, people are saying that. Because I came out to support the president, OK. We’ve been friends a long time. I’m loyal to the president. I’m loyal to the president’s agenda. I have never had a conversation with anybody about that. I have never boasted to anybody that they want me back or any of that nonsense.
RUHLE: No, but would you like to?
SCARAMUCCI: I find that level of journalism completely dishonest.
RUHLE: I’m just asking you a question.
SCARAMUCCI: Would I like to? I would like to focus on my house and not the White House right now at this point in my life. Having said that, I’m friends with a lot of people inside the administration. And I’m here to help because it’s a great agenda for the American people.
It’s worth watching in full, because — let’s face it — Scaramucci is both smart and entertaining. At one point he gets Ruhle to admit that she’s lied “lots of times,” that she favored tax cuts (on MSNBC?), while Mooch continually hammers the point of Trump’s first-year successes, especially on the economy. Ruhle also does well to keep pressing Mooch on inconsistencies and forces him to back down on Trump being a complete outsider to the Washington “system.” Talking-head TV is usually too predictable to be interesting; this is the exception.
Ruhle signs off, “There you go, the one and only Anthony Scaramucci,” which may be the only indisputable part of this interview. Admit it — we’ve missed the Mooch.