Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, said Sunday that he would like to see the President tone down his rhetoric against journalists and back off his “war with the media.”
“There’s no need to have a war with the media,” Scaramucci told CNN “State of the Union” anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday. “You know, as far as I’m concerned, you can have an adversarial relationship, but we should be de-escalating this stuff.”
Scaramucci, a longtime Trump backer, said the President has a “great agenda” and the economy is doing well under his administration, adding that Trump’s tactics in attacking the press “helped him win the presidency.”
“But he’s now the leader of the free world, and he is the No. 1 principal, responsible person in government for all people,” Scaramucci told Tapper.
Scaramucci said he would love to see polarizing rhetoric “dialed back on both sides.”
“But good leadership requires that somebody go first. And I’d like it to be him,” he said.
Trump often derides the media as “fake news,” and, according to CBS News’ Lesley Stahl, said during his candidacy that he does so in order to “discredit” the media, so that when the media writes “negative stories about me, no one will believe (them).” He recently praised a Republican congressman for assaulting a reporter.
After CNN’s bureau in New York received a suspicious package on Wednesday, Trump said the “media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday defended Trump’s comments about the media and deflected when asked whether the President bears any responsibility for the heated political rhetoric.
Sanders told reporters that Trump is no more responsible for the suspicious packages sent to his critics, top Democratic officials and CNN last week, than Sen. Bernie Sanders was responsible for the fact that a gunman who was a supporter of the Vermont independent opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice last year.