Anthony Scaramucci's 'New Yorker' Interview Was Spiritually Off The Record, He Says
Anthony Scaramucci would like to set the record straight regarding some of the finer points of his 10-day stint as White House communications director. Yes, that's right. He was fired Monday, and yet by Tuesday he was already back giving interviews — the very thing that got him into high water in the first place. HuffPost interviewed Scaramucci about his resignation and those New Yorker comments that ended it all, at least for the time being.
HuffPost's Vicky Ward spoke with Scaramucci about his short stint in the White House and the New Yorker piece, in a piece published Tuesday. They rehashed tweets from the magazine's writer Ryan Lizza about the dinner with the Fox News crew last Wednesday and how Scaramucci called the writer that night. Evidently "the Mooch"'s take on how journalism works is quite unique.
The Lizzas and Scaramuccis have been friends for over 50 years. My dad knew his dad from construction, and we were building a personal relationship. Most of what I said was humorous and joking. Legally, it may have been on the record, but the spirit of it was off. And he knew that.
"Legally on, but spirit of it off" is quite a unique explainer for how he got himself into this mess. But no hard feelings, evidently; he plans to take Lizza out for a beer, Ward reported. Lizza, though, doesn't see the interview the same way.
We are not and have never been "old family friends," though I think our fathers knew each other, so maybe that's what he's talking about. (The Long Island Italian world in that generation is relatively small.) But again, that would not be a reason to suppress an explosive on-the-record interview.
It's almost didn't end this way. According to several of Ward's sources, the president was "amused" by the Lizza interview at first, but then he grew stale on it after all the attention. Apparently the Mooch knew that he shouldn't be stealing the headlines from the president, and that's why he kept profusely praising Trump in his first appearance in front of the cameras. This New Yorker interview wasn't praising Trump, though.
The other big scandal surrounding the Mooch is his family life, which he told Ward has been mischaracterized. He said his wife's due date wasn't until Aug. 9, and it wasn't until he was in West Virginia that he knew she was in labor. By then, though, there was a no-fly zone around Air Force One. He decided it was easiest to fly back to D.C. and then head to New York from there.
But he didn't go: in Ward's interview, he said he hadn't met his son because his soon-to-be ex-wife asked for space (however, her lawyers said that didn't apply to the baby).
Scaramucci also shared some details about the firing, which was handed down by the new White House chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly. "It was a very polite conversation," Scaramucci told Ward. Then he tried to speak to Trump, but the president was unavailable. Later that day, though, Trump was very gracious.
"The president told me he knows I have his back, but he has to try to tighten the ship," Scaramucci explained to Ward.
Whether or not Scaramucci is truly gone, though, is another story. Ward also spoke to Roger Stone, who said, "The administration is like the French Revolution. You never know who will be beheaded next." But it may not be a true beheading, according to Stone.
As you know, none of us are ever really gone. He still has the president's cellphone, the president’s private number. Just because he’s not in the White House, no one should think his influence has gone.
So prepare yourselves, Scaramucci could be back. He's going "dark" for now, but prepare for him to "reemerge," as he put it to Ward. The press will be waiting.