In any event, I was surprised at Scaramucci’s unbridled attacks. He probably has the shortest tenure of any communications director in history. But even the briefest association with Donald Trump should instruct a sentient being about Rule Number One when it comes to Donald Trump. His philosophy of interpersonal relations seems to be a variant of ‘live-and-let-live/ Leave him alone, he will leave you alone. Attack him, and rue the day.’ Other presidents may not be turn-the-other-cheek good guys, but most are told to ignore criticism from the press and the groundlings of our public discourse. It’s not a message that Donald Trump embraces. I can’t think of a single instance when he went after an opponent or a rival who did not attack him first. But once the other fellow throws the first punch, off come the Trumpian gloves.
Just so in l’affaire Scaramouche. The former communications director’s disparaging remarks hadn’t stopped reverberating around delighted newsrooms before the president weighed with a series of blistering tweets. ‘Anthony Scaramucci,’ he began, ‘was quickly terminated…from a position that he was totally incapable of handling [and] now seems to do nothing but television as the all-time expert on “President Trump.” Like many other so-called television experts, he knows very little about me…’
I suspect that White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley got it about right when he accused Scaramucci of ‘trying to profit’ from his association with Donald Trump.