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Interview with White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci; Senate Passes Motion to Proceed on Health Care Reform Bill. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired July 26, 2017 - 08:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good luck, and I hope you serve the people of this country well.

SCARAMUCCI: I appreciate that, Chris. Thank you. So go ahead. I heard the introduction so I'm ready for you. Go ahead.

CUOMO: That's your job is to be ready. Let's talk about what matters. Health care -- the president says inaction is not an option. He is banging on members of his own party, most recently Senator Murkowski from Alaska this morning, saying she did her own constituents a disservice. It raises the question, how did she do her constituents a disservice? The bill that is out there right now, these kind of bald replacements, repeal statutes without understanding what the replacement is, the president called that notion mean when it came out of the House. Why is he now seeing the resistance by a senator as a failure?

SCARAMUCCI: OK, so let's step back for a second. The reason the president is saying that is it if you lock at the macro-features of what's going on, the Republican Party for seven-and-a-half years has called for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Moreover, what we know from free market principles is that when you make something a little bit freer and you decentralize it, you get two positive benefits to the consumer and the patient. You get lower cost of delivery and you get better service. That happened in the airline industry, Chris. It happened in telecommunications when it was deregulated and made freer.

And what the president is trying to do is make the health care system freer. However, because it's Washington, and there's a lot of webs here in Washington that have to be broken up like the cobwebs in your attic, we have to get out there and start with incrementalism. All good entrepreneurs have to start somewhere with a dedicated plan to finish in a great place.

And so while things may not be perfect right now, whether it's repeal and replace or repeal and delay, you are moving the process towards a freer system where you will get the technological S-curves that you've experienced in Silicon Valley, you've experienced in our areas of our economy. You have not been able to do that here because of the centralized nature of the way the hospitals and doctors are interacting with the insurance companies.

And so the president and Secretary Price and other members of the administration, frankly all the members of the administration, understand that. And what he's saying like a good football coach, let's get off of the same offensive game plan, don't focus on the micro-nature of this today if you're a senator, but focus on the macro long-term effects that this bill is going to have on the society and the positive effects it's going to have on the economy.

We don't want to see health care expenses continue to go from maybe it's 18 or 19 percent now, Chris, into the mid-20s. That would be disastrous for the economy. We've studied other countries where you can get it down, and we have a plan to get it down. And one of the bad news things about this, it's not going to happen overnight. You can't put something in place and expect it to be the panacea, Chris, immediately. But what you can do is, working with the great leadership of the president, is move the process along to get it in a place where the American people will like in the next three, five, and 10 years.

CUOMO: There just seems to be a disconnect between the urgency that the president has in any particular plan. You analogize him to a football coach. I would suggest where are the x's and o's. The president doesn't have his own plan or what he seems to want. We do know that costs are a problem. We do know that the rate of increase of those costs is less since the ACA. So we get what the problems are. We get that there is a need for fixes. But we don't get what the plan is to fix them. And now we have the president saying act, act, act, but with no direction on what to do.

SCARAMUCCI: So I want to respectfully disagree with you. A good decentralized management and leadership structure, he would turn to the members of the House and Senate who had seven-and-a-half years to come up with a plan, and he would say, OK, what's your plan. And then he would look at the plan and say OK, I now understand why this is so complicated and why we're not going to get everything done overnight just the same way you can't build a building overnight. But let's start the process, Chris, let's get the ball rolling towards a patient-centered, freer, decentralized system.

CUOMO: But he's called their --

SCARAMUCCI: Those are the x's and o's right there.

CUOMO: He called the plan mean. He said is lacked heart and that you needed to take care of people. He said in his pre presidential life that he believed that everybody needed to be covered by health care.

SCARAMUCCI: We're going to get there, Chris. And so we're basically saying this is an evolutionary step toward a greater system, a more efficient system, a more cost effective system.

CUOMO: But how do you know that, Anthony, based on what's out there. That's not what the CBO score says.

SCARAMUCCI: Let's go back to 1984 when the lobbyists in this community here in Washington were trying to block the breakup of AT&T, and it was eventually broken up into seven baby bells. It's 32 years later. We've taken data transmission effectively down to zero which led to the rise of the Internet. You wouldn't have Amazon, Facebook, Google, all of these wonderful S-curving technologies that have completely benefited not only the United States but the world without breaking up that system.

CUOMO: But Anthony there's no correlation or causation between what happened with telecom and what's going on with health care, and even if --

SCARAMUCCI: I have to push back very hard on that.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

SCARAMUCCI: There's an absolute correlation because you have to look at it as a macro-economist. I'm a trained economist, right, and I'm here to tell you that when you break things up and decentralize them, they always do better.

CUOMO: But teams of economists --

SCARAMUCCI: We've got to start that incremental step, Chris.

CUOMO: Right I understand.

SCARAMUCCI: There is a correlation.

CUOMO: But here's the thing. The step is only as good as the details of that step. And what is before the Senate right now has been scored and found grossly lacking in terms of securing the promise of the president, which wasn't as simple as repeal and replace but to make it better. How is this better?

SCARAMUCCI: Chris, we're going to win so much, Chris, you're actually going to get tired of winning. So let's just go over what we did yesterday. We won yesterday. Good on entrepreneurial, political entrepreneurship. We win yesterday. Now incrementally we're going to win over the in next two weeks once we figure out exactly what's going to be put before the major vote in the Senate.

CUOMO: But how is it a win to force senators to vote on a procedure to move forward on a plan they don't understand? How is that a win?

SCARAMUCCI: Let me put it this way. Suppose they didn't vote for it. Then that would obviously have been a loss. You guys would be on the TV this morning saying they couldn't vote for it or they couldn't move it forward.

CUOMO: That's optics. That's optics. Leadership would suggest that maybe you go to them and say go work a deal with the Democrats. Go take it to committee.

SCARAMUCCI: You and you actually grew up in h a very similar neighborhood, so we want things done supido, the Italian expression --

CUOMO: That means fast.

SCARAMUCCI: You and I both want that done supido.

CUOMO: No, I want it done right. I want it done right. That's what the American people want is for this to be done in a way that makes it better, not just makes it a political win.

SCARAMUCCI: The way the founders put the system together, you have a lot of disruptive activity inside the system.

CUOMO: But this is disruptive activity. This is a perversion of the normal process for political expedience.

SCARAMUCCI: The way Lincoln ended the war and realize how much heat and dissension there was there to do the right thing.

CUOMO: Why would you want this to be like the Civil War?

SCARAMUCCI: The president wants to do the right thing, Chris, he's got to operate inside this Byzantine system to do the right thing, and so we're practicing political entrepreneurialism of incrementalism. Let's get this done right now. We'll get it passed through the Senate, and then we'll do what all good entrepreneurs do. We'll make refinements to the process and the policy and make it better for the American people.

CUOMO: Here's the question. The president seemed to suggest that he was going to come in from the outside and do better for people. How is what's happening right now a reflection of that? It was an end-run around the procedure. You now have them voting on things his own party isn't sure about, and the only thing that seems clear is that the Republicans want to make good on their promise to destroy Obamacare, and they'll see that as a political win with their base. But how is that better for people?

SCARAMUCCI: And again, I mean this with all due respect because you're obviously wicked smart.

CUOMO: We always we know that that phrase does not have anything respectful.

SCARAMUCCI: You're talking like an establishmentarian journalist that's wedded to the establishment the establishmentarian, bureaucratic sclerosis in this city known as Washington, D.C.

CUOMO: That sounds like a hollow criticism.

SCARAMUCCI: No, no, no. That's exactly what you're doing.

CUOMO: By suggesting you need to do it the right way and make it better for people? If that's being an establishmentarian I think it's the right place to be.

SCARAMUCCI: You're being an establishmentarian because you're taking about once against the sclerosis and the centralization and the bureaucracy, all of the things that the people of the United States do not like about Washington, D.C., and all of the reasons why the president was elected to come down here and try to disrupt it.

Now, my advice to these people here is give him the air cover, give him the opportunity, and if it you want to blame it on him or blame it on us here at the White House, go ahead, but do the right thing for the American people en masse and the society and the system will get better. If it you stay in the status quo in the lockstep of this establishmentarian, status quo, it will lead to disaster, Chris. You know that and I know that. You don't have to be that good at arithmetic to understand that in 2019, 2020, Obamacare is imploding. You don't have to be a math genius to see that. So why --

CUOMO: Many experts in the field of health care disagree with that sentence and say the greatest threat to Obamacare is federal subsidies being pulled by the president. All I'm saying is --

SCARAMUCCI: I couldn't hear you because I was trying to talk over you. Go ahead I'll let you talk. Go ahead.

CUOMO: I'm saying that experts disagree with the notion that Obama care is failing. They see the most imminent threat to it is holding these federal subsides, as the president is done, over the head of insurers, creating uncertainty. But we all know that the ACA needs fixing. I'm just saying the president promised better.

SCARAMUCCI: That's a completely contrived opinion. That's like the tobacco company saying that smoking is good for you.

CUOMO: That's like having economists give us an assessment. These are the experts on that subject.

SCARAMUCCI: Look at the math, Chris. Super healthy young people would rather pay the tax penalty than enter the system.

CUOMO: Of course they would. They'd rather pay the least. That could tell you that the tax penalty might be not high enough, that the mandate doesn't work well enough.

SCARAMUCCI: Chris, that's a free market principle. Do you see that? They'd rather pay the least. So why not disrupt and decentralize the system, make it more price competitive, increase competition for the insurance companies, reevaluate the way we're entering the primary care market the way Secretary Price wants to do it, and trust the process of the free market like in telecom, like in airlines. You will get a better product, better quality service, at a lower price. That's what America has been about.

CUOMO: We have the CBO score. And I'm just saying what came out of the house that they're working off of right now was called mean by this president, and with good reason based on the CBO. The facts matter.

SCARAMUCCI: We're going back to the "mean" word, which is fine. That shows what the president's compassion and it shows you the president's heart.

CUOMO: And his ability to read, because the CBO score said you would have tens of millions of more people not covered. That's all I'm saying.

SCARAMUCCI: So my message to you and the American people, be patient, have confidence that you've got people here that really understand what they're doing over time. If you're expecting an instant panacea or an instant cure, it's not going to be provided by anybody here in Washington. But if you listen to the president, who is a great builder and has a great vision, and you have a three, five, and 10 year period of time to look out at, by the end of the decade we can actually make this dramatically better.

But we've got to start now. We've got to start right here. And I tell me fellow Republicans get on side. Don't fight with the president here. We need your help. It's better for the American people long-term. It's better for your constituents long term. Take the incremental political heat today for a better society in the future. That's my message to my fellow Republicans.

CUOMO: And they're saying back to you --

SCARAMUCCI: And also my fellow American Democrats who would have the courage to cross the line. That's another thing that happens here in Washington, nobody crossing the line anymore.

CUOMO: You just created a process with this vote where they can't really cross the line effectively because the amendment structure is all controlled by the Republicans. But let's see what they come up with and then we'll test it.

Let me move on to something else while I have you, Anthony.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, go ahead.

CUOMO: What's going on with Jeff Sessions? You are a man who is known for dealing face-to-face with people and talking straight to people. That's not what's going on here. You've got the president openly bullying one of his earliest supporters. It's upsetting just to his own party. It wound up being a little bit of a distraction to the vote yesterday. You say you don't agree. The how is this the right thing to do by Jeff Sessions?

SCARAMUCCI: I didn't say I don't agree. I was going to say that everybody's got a personality differences and everybody has different style affects for their personality. One of the things that I like about the president that some people in Washington perhaps don't like about the president is the upfront-ness. If he's unhappy with my job and he tweets out about me that he's unhappy with my job and 113 million people hear that, I'm a pretty secure guy. I'm OK with that. I would go and talk to him and say, OK, can I improve this, can I make it better for you?

CUOMO: So you don't think that upfront is coming to Anthony and saying, Anthony, you're falling down on the job? You think tweeting about it is upfront?

SCARAMUCCI: I think that's pretty upfront. He just happens to be sharing with 113 million people. CUOMO: But he's not even talking to Jeff Sessions? He goes to Twitter, one of his earliest supporters?

SCARAMUCCI: Jeff Sessions is probably one of the 113 million people. But I get the point, and I understand what you're saying. But I'm also saying something, OK?

You remember Ed Koch who was a friend and sometimes not so much of a friend of your dad's. Ed Koch had a great line. He says hey, I'm not getting the cancer. I'm giving you the cancer. And the point is that the president is very expressive guy, and he is going to let the society know and the people of the United States know how he feels on a day-to-day basis.

I'm telling my fellow teammates here in the West Wing and my fellow friends that happen to be cabinet secretaries, that this is his style, this is his nature. You've got to have a very tough skin to work for and deal with the president.

But if he respects your toughness and respects your honestly and your loyalty, somebody said, as you guys were entering this eight-hour segment, that the loyalty for the president is one-sided. That is absolute nonsense. He is a symmetrical loyalist for sure. If you take care of him, he's going to take care of you. I've seen it yesterday. I can't tell you the number of people when I was sitting in the Oval Office with him that he was calling to thank for voting for the bill and staying onside as fellow Republicans and doing the right thing for the United States.

CUOMO: Anthony.

SCARAMUCCI: When I hear the nonsense that the president is one-sided loyalty, that's a bunch of nonsense. I've experienced it myself personally.

[08:15:04] I've experienced it myself personally. My family has experienced it. The American people, in Ohio, and the American people in West Virginia over the last two days, if it you saw those crowds, Chris, you would know how much the president is loved and how much the American people in general want the nonsense to end in Washington.

CUOMO: First of all, Anthony, the president's generating the nonsense on this. And I don't know how you think it's going to engender loyalty among your team if the message to them is, hey, do right by the president, and if you don't, he's going to out you on Twitter before he even talks to you face-to-face.

SCARAMUCCI: We're going --


CUOMO: You know fellow senators in your own party -- there's no argument, Anthony, because the reality tells a very specific story. People within your own party are saying stop bullying Jeff Sessions. Why are they saying it? SCARAMUCCI: Chris, Chris, Chris, the results speak for themselves. You and I are going to want to argue that as managerial style and his communication style --

CUOMO: I don't think it's managerial. I just think it's a character issue.

SCARAMUCCI: But he's worth $10 billion and he started for the presidency on June 16th of 2015 and six months into the presidency. So, we can argue about it, but I think the result and success speak for themselves.

CUOMO: You think that he's going to remove Jeff Sessions?

SCARAMUCCI: So, watch over -- watch over the next -- watch over the next six to 12 months what we do here in terms of transforming the way people think about government, the way people communicate about government, and think about what we're going to do here in terms of improving the society for all Americans with his policies.

CUOMO: We'll take it step by step. Do you think he's going to get rid of Jeff Sessions because he seems to be injuring him in public?

SCARAMUCCI: I don't -- I don't know the answer to that. And so, but what I would suggest to both the -- and again, I don't want to get in the middle of the president and one of his cabinet secretaries, but since the president has said this to 113 million people, I'll say it to your viewership, although the president said your viewership is not so good, but I know it's good, Chris. Don't get offensive.

CUOMO: It's all right. We don't rely on the president for a rendition of --


SCARAMUCCI: Here's what I would say to your viewership and I would say the same thing to both of them if they were standing here together, let's try to communicate.

CUOMO: Have they spoken?

SCARAMUCCI: And figure out directionally where we're going. But I would recommend to every cabinet secretary and every teammate that I have here on the West Wing, have a tough skin.

CUOMO: Have they spoken?

SCARAMUCCI: I don't know the answer.

CUOMO: You don't know the answer or the answer is no they haven't spoken?


SCARAMUCCI: Here's the other thing, I'm not one of those obfuscators where I'll tell you that I don't know the answer and I actually know the answer. I actually don't know the answer.

CUOMO: And so, you don't know what happens going forward on that, let's move to a different issue. The leaks. You got rid of somebody inside the staff. Was it because you thought they were a leaker?

SCARAMUCCI: No. I had never met the person personally. I got rid of somebody inside the staff because somebody above my rank had suggested that that person needed to be fired. Now here's the problem with this whole thing, and I want to apologize. I'm not going to mention his name on the air, but I want to apologize to the person.

CUOMO: I didn't say his name for a reason either.

SCARAMUCCI: And I understand that, and I did too because we're both compassionate people. I didn't want to fire him as much as we wanted to give him the opportunity to resign, which he did. And I talk to him last night by phone. I said to him, hey, I'm here to help you find another job, because whatever happened right or wrong inside the administration, you've got a long life. I've got a long life and let me help you build your career.

I also believe in the process of redemption. So, if somebody does something wrong on a job, and then go find another job and try to do that right. I wrote that in my book. So, people are fallible people, myself included. I have a whole phone book of fallibility about myself.

So, I called him last night and I said to him, the reason you were let go is somebody above my rank, I'm not going to say who, said that you needed to be let go. And you weren't being let go and so, I had to send a managerial message to the people that are working for me and I'm going to do what I say.

And I also report to somebody, if he asked me to do something I'm actually going to go do it.

CUOMO: Two points --

SCARAMUCCI: I'm not a politician, Chris. And I'm never going to be a politician. What I'm going to be an entrepreneurial business executive that's going to try to inject some accountability into the system, and what I told the people that work for me in the communications department, I would like the leaks to stop.

Now all of the cynics around here and the tweets and all these other nonsense saying the leaks are never to going to stop. And I say to those people, you are correct. I know the leaks will never stop, but if I can dial back the leaks in the department that I am representing and the department that I am running, then I will feel that I've accomplished something on behalf of our president.

CUOMO: All right. A couple of questions on this --

SCARAMUCCI: I don't think I can stop the leaks interagency, or there are some senior people in here --

CUOMO: Understood.

SCARAMUCCI: -- for unexplicable reasons that are leaking on each other, I would tell my colleagues to stop doing that. It doesn't help the president. It's embarrassing to the institution of the presidency, and it makes you look very small when you're leaking on your colleagues. It's not a good -- that's not good team sports.

And I also told the guys in the communications department that you will never hear me say, hey, go leak X, Y, Z, on so and so I want to influence the president's decision about firing the guy.

CUOMO: Right, you shouldn't.

SCARAMUCCI: I will never do that. I'll go right to the president and say, this guy is terrible, he's got to be fired.

[08:20:03] CUOMO: A few questions. One, you said somebody above your rank wanted him out. Was that the president?

SCARAMUCCI: I didn't answer the question, Chris. You see, I'm getting so subtle and surgical in terms of the way I talked --

CUOMO: You're as subtle as a heart attack. You report directly to the president.

SCARAMUCCI: Just remember what Koch said, I'm going to give you the heart attack, Chris. You're not going to give the heart attack.

CUOMO: You want to bring up Ed Koch, may he rest in peace.

Let's talk about him. You know what he did? He called you on the phone. And he said, Mario, I got a problem with you. Or whoever it was I have a problem with you. Here it is.

He dealt man to man, face-to-face, because he believed people deserved the dignity of that respect and not to hear from someone else or somewhere else how he felt about you.

SCARAMUCCI: Look, I mean --

CUOMO: So, this is not an Ed Koch model. This is something else.

SCARAMUCCI: It's not an Ed Koch model, but this is a guy that's made $10 billion for himself and his family, and this is a guy that ascended to the American presidency. But since we're talking about Ed Koch, let's talk about --

CUOMO: Doing well and doing it the right way could be very different things in business, Anthony.

SCARAMUCCI: Hey, Chris, let's talk about Ed Koch. He once said if you believe in nine out of the 12 things that I'm saying, you should vote for me.

CUOMO: Then you're doing great.

SCARAMUCCI: And then he said, if you believe 12 out of the 12 things, you need a psychiatrist.

CUOMO: Right. Look, Ed Koch --

SCARAMUCCI: That's what I would say to my fellow Republicans.

CUOMO: Ed Koch isn't the president right now.

SCARAMUCCI: We got a plan in place, vote for us.

CUOMO: Ed Koch isn't the president right now.

Did the president tell you get rid of this guy, he's one of those leakers?

SCARAMUCCI: I'm not going to answer that question because --


SCARAMUCCI: Because you just said I wasn't going answer it.

CUOMO: I know. But what happened to being straight? What happened to I'm not going to obfuscate?


SCARAMUCCI: I'm straightly, straightly not answering your question.

CUOMO: And you know what that suggests, right?

SCARAMUCCI: You know, what does it suggest?

CUOMO: Well, if you don't want to answer the question, it suggests that yes, it was him who told you not to do it, because otherwise, you'd say, no, it wasn't him, because it clarifies it.

SCARAMUCCI: Chris, I've already answered it. You're just not really a derivative thinker. I said somebody above my rank, go read the press release, Chris.

CUOMO: You're hurting my feelings, Anthony.


SCARAMUCCI: You know what's funny about you was when I tease you, you're very upset.

CUOMO: I'm never upset. I've got a big smile on my face.

SCARAMUCCI: When you tease me, I have to stay here and not be upset.

CUOMO: Anthony, it's never personal for me except for the fact I have a little bit of affection for you. But it's --

SCARAMUCCI: Same here, but let me say this to you, OK? Whether it's CNN or any other news organization that is here at the White House, we are open for business. And I believe -- CUOMO: Good.

SCARAMUCCI: -- in the First Amendment, as does the president. And I'm here to tell you that I just would like fair treatment and objective coverage. I always respect you for asking tough questions. But what we really got to do now, let's give the president an opportunity to get his agenda out.

CUOMO: The president has been invited on NEW DAY a regular basis. Sometimes I look right into the camera and I say to him, you are the best advocate. Come on the show and make the case to the people. He's always welcome to be tested.

SCARAMUCCI: And when the time is right, when the time is right and the president wants to do that or doesn't want to that, that will be up to him. What I want to do for all of these news outlets here is create the environment and create an exposure and relax some of the tension and anxiety. We're going to be open for business --

CUOMO: Good.

SCARAMUCCI: -- with the cameras this afternoon and let's try to create at least a relationship between ourselves and the Fourth Estate, where we hold each other accountable.

CUOMO: Good.

SCARAMUCCI: -- but you give us the opportunity to explain ourselves to the American people of what we're trying to do to help the country.

CUOMO: You will get just that.

Let me ask you a couple more questions -- Jeff Sessions, is it true he's putting together a plan to investigate leakers in the White House and beyond?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I wouldn't say just the White House. He's putting a plan together for the inter-agencies and I want to work very closely with him as the director of communications and I want to work with the other agencies and departments to get our message coordinated amongst ourselves and we want to uproot some of these leakers, because yes, I'm not naive, I know that we're never going to end all the leaking. I didn't suggest that, but I want to put a culture in place where people trust each other.

Here's why --

CUOMO: Isn't that instilling a culture of fear if you're chasing people who leak? I mean, if they're not leaking classified information --


SCARAMUCCI: No, no, no, hold on a second, hold a second. I'm a very upfront guy. I sat in an office with a group of 40 people and said, listen, I will do anything I can to help your careers ant further your opportunities in future, but for right now, we serve one person and his agenda. That's the president of the United States.

You are not serving the president's agenda if you're nefariously leaking on people. You're not being loyal to him. They're not being loyal --

CUOMO: But a leak isn't necessarily nefarious. This White House leaks more than most because of a collective insecurity.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, OK, so let's talk about that, OK? If you take the psychological equation of insecurity, plus under confidence, I've run two successful businesses. Insecurity plus under confidence always equals paranoia and backstabbing. It always does.

So, what we have to do is go step by step, person to person and figure out if we can fortify their confidence and fortify their security. If we can't do that, we've got to ask them to leave because nefarious leaking is disloyal to the president, is disloyal to the institution of presidency and it's bad for America, Chris.

CUOMO: But doesn't that start at the top? The president staying on message, not saying things that are outrageous? Not going after his own?

SCARAMUCCI: Hold on a second, OK? Now, you're talking about two different things, do you want to stay on the leaking or you want to go to the president's --


[08:25:00] CUOMO: I think there's correlation and causation to the two, but explain it the way you like.

SCARAMUCCI: I don't agree with that at all. I totally disagree with that.

The president has a very unique communications style. I would argue people will say I'm being sycophantic, I'm not. I'm just being objective.

He's arguably the most media savvy person in history, but certainly of our times. And so, he's hopped right over the mainstream media and use the social media mechanisms like Twitter, and Facebook and Instagram to hit directly to the American people. It's the reason why we spent less money and less staff during the campaign and won the election.

And so, you got to just look at it for what it is. So, there are vagaries on the bell curve of his media style that some of you guys in the media don't like. And maybe some of the elites in Washington really don't like.


SCARAMUCCI: But if you go down the base, if you look at the statistical base, you'll see that the base and the majority of the American people, certainly all the American people that voted for him either don't care about the tweets, they find them funny. They find them refreshing. They don't overreact and micro --

CUOMO: It's actually not what the surveys show.

SCARAMUCCI: They don't overreact and micro-analyze them the way you guys do.

CUOMO: It's actually not what the survey shows. Its shows most people don't think they're appropriate and aren't big fans of him, but he is playing to his base, I'll give you that.

SCARAMUCCI: OK. But you know what? They're still voting for him. He's still the president.

CUOMO: They voted for him. Let's see if the same style as a president works as an insurgent candidate.


SCARAMUCCI: Last time I checked, he's living in the residence up here.

CUOMO: True.

SCARAMUCCI: And the elites aren't. That's the last time I checked. So, he's doing something right.

CUOMO: I mean, I would say that, you know, what definition of elite Donald Trump not fit? You know, he's one of the wealthiest people in the country. He's always been on the outside. He'd been working with the insiders in Washington since you and I were born.


SCARAMUCCI: That is the --

CUOMO: I just don't know how you call him an outsider and not an elitist when he checks every box.

SCARAMUCCI: You know what? I may bring you on the communications team because you're articulating better than me. Isn't that the best thing about him that he's wickedly wealthy and that he's able to, you know, play golf in all these unbelievable golf courses and he's able to have a connection to the elites?

CUOMO: I hope not. I hope not. I hope that how much money he has isn't the best thing about him.


SCARAMUCCI: No, you won't let me finish.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

SCARAMUCCI: I'm giving you the whole bandwidth, Chris. And then all of that, and he's still able to relate to regular people and regular people are cheering and identifying with him. And he's able to identify systemic problems in the middle class and the lower class despite his wealth. How about that for emotional quotient and intelligence and empathy?

CUOMO: He's got a great ear. He had a great gut during the campaign and now he has the mandate to make those problems that he identified so well better. We'll see how he does.

SCARAMUCCI: We should end the interview right here.

CUOMO: Last question now, I only have more and I'll let you go.

SCARAMUCCI: He had a great ear and he had a great gut. And that could be the most positive thing that's been said about the president on CNN in six months.

CUOMO: Listen --

SCARAMUCCI: So, being Italian, I would actually hug you but I'm in- between you and this camera.

CUOMO: You can give me -- I feel the affection, Anthony. That's good enough.

SCARAMUCCI: Let's work -- let's build the habit of saying nice things about the president, I'll bring mom (ph).

CUOMO: When due, he gets the praise. He gets what he gives. He gets what he deserves. That is the job of testing power.

Last question: is the president going to sign the sanctions bill?

SCARAMUCCI: OK. So, there was -- and again, I want to explain this to you. Sarah said one thing that he likes most of the elements of that bill. Apparently, I said that I didn't know. So, it was a little bit of confusion and one of the "New York Times" reporters called me and I said, look, go with what Sarah's saying, it's my second or third day here.

So, I have to sit down with the president and ask him that and then I have to ask the president, how would you like me to communicate that to the media? So, what I'm going to say to you at this point, I personally don't know. But I don't want people reading into that saying, oh, you know, the communication director said the president's not signing it.

I think I've got to understand it better. And I would rather tell you with great truth that I'm not up to speed on the issue rather than make something up.

CUOMO: All right. I accept you at your word.

Anthony Scaramucci, good luck going forward. You're always welcome on NEW DAY to make the case.

SCARAMUCCI: I appreciate it. Thank you for letting me be here. Thank you. CUOMO: All right. Be well.


CAMEROTA: OK, you've given us a lot to gnaw on there. There's some even new phrases, symmetrical loyalists. I look forward to exploring and defining a lot of stuff to talk about. Thank goodness, we have all of our political heavyweights here on our panel are going to weigh in on everything that they've just heard from the White House.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.

CUOMO: He said he wanted to hug me. That's different.