Give the new comms director at the White House this much credit — he’s certainly bringing clarity to Donald Trump’s thoughts and plans. Hugh Hewitt interviewed Anthony Scaramucci from the White House this morning as part of an exclusive Salem Radio Network event, and asked whether Trump wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions gone. “Why not just fire Jeff Sessions?” he asked, bringing up to Scaramucci Trump’s continuing Twitter fusillade on his own AG, right up to the moment the show started:
Scaramucci seemed taken aback by the question, and stalled a bit by discussing Trump’s “certain style” in dealing with people, eventually saying that Trump and Sessions “need to work this thing out.” Hugh replies, “It’s clear the president wants him gone, isn’t it, Anthony?”
“I have an enormous amount of respect for the Attorney General,” Scaramucci replies, “but I do know the president pretty well. And if there’s this level of tension in the relationship, that that’s public, then you’re probably right. But I don’t want to speak for the president on that, because he’s a cabinet official, and I sort of think that has to be between the President of the United States and the cabinet official.”
After a thoroughly professional debut, Scaramucci either inadvertently stepped on a media land mine — or deliberately heightened the tension. Right now, it’s tough to decide which it is. Clearly Trump has been sending everything but a Western Union telegram to Sessions in order to get him to resign. It might be that an inexperienced comms director got caught playing political analyst rather than sticking to the message, a mistake that even experienced pols occasionally make. Given the pattern of abuse that Sessions has been taking of late, it certainly looks suspiciously like a planned escalation.
Or perhaps there’s a third option. Trump’s ire is so undeniable that Scaramucci may have decided that it’s not worth spinning any longer.
The good news: Scaramucci has advised Trump not to fire Robert Mueller. “I’ll be on the record,” Scaramucci told Hugh after asking whether he’d discussed the issue with Trump. “In candid conversations with the president on this, I said, ‘Why would you fire him?'” Well, that’s a relief.
Addendum: Andrew Malcolm wrote this morning that Trump needs to stop acting as his own comms director:
While Trump staffers are out dutifully explaining one of his recent decisions, unbeknownst to them, he’s explaining it differently to others. Media gleefully describe the glaring disparities, maybe even exaggerate them, and probe for delicious inconsistencies. The story then becomes, who said what when, who’s telling the truth? See, Shifting Trump stories on James Comey’s firing, among others.
And Trump, not being much of a Sherlock Holmes, becomes confounded and angry. He wonders why the White House message isn’t getting out clearly. The obvious solution: Talk about firing someone.
We suggested months ago that the person Trump should first fire as his spokesman is Trump. Think of what all would not be happening today – including the very existence of the special counsel and his broadening investigation of all things Trump, Russia and who knows what else – if this president had followed advice to pick another time to dump Comey, do it differently or give a better reason than cockamamie “showboating” – and stick with it. …
We’ll see how long Trump and Mooch can stay on the same page.
Looks like we need to reset the accident counter again.