Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House communications director who has frequently defended President Donald Trump on television, said Monday he no longer supports Trump’s reelection bid and that the top of the 2020 Republican presidential ticket may need to be replaced.
The comments to CNN’s John Berman come following a weekend in which Scaramucci and Trump traded barbs. The former hedge fund manager has increasingly criticized Trump’s racist rhetoric as well as his recent visits to the scenes of mass shootings.
Asked by Berman on “New Day” if he was “no longer an active supporter of President Trump and his reelection bid,” the former Trump loyalist replied, “I think that’s pretty obvious from over the weekend.”
“The guy’s actually dissembling a little bit, and he’s sounding more and more nonsensical. And, you know, we’re sort anesthetized to it,” he added, referring to the President’s rhetoric and behavior.
Scaramucci’s public break with Trump makes him the latest loyalist to cut ties with the President. Some other high-profile allies, including former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and personal attorney Michael Cohen, have also distanced themselves from Trump after once vigorously defending him in public.
Trump appeared to be angry over the weekend with Scaramucci after he called the President’s recent visits to the grief-stricken cities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, following two mass shootings a “catastrophe.”
Asked Monday if he was calling for changing the Republican ticket, Scaramucci replied, “Well, I’m calling for it to be considered, yes.”
“I think you have to consider a change at the top of the ticket when someone is acting like this,” said Scaramucci, who didn’t name a potential replacement candidate, instead saying, “Let’s watch how this unfolds.”
The former aide said that although he believes Trump’s policies are “very, very good for the American people,” the President’s “rhetoric is so charged and so divisive that we have to all just take a step back now and say, ‘what are we doing, actually?’”
“He goes after individuals as the President of the United States on his Twitter account, OK, which incites hate, which incites death threats,” he said, adding later, “The racially charged comments, the divisive tweeting, the nonsense coming from the President is not helping the country.”
In a tweet following the CNN interview, Scaramucci said he had held off on distancing himself from Trump because he “tried to see best” in him “based on private interactions and select policy alignment.”
Responding to Scaramucci’s comments to CNN, the White House on Monday said he had no credibility.
“He worked at the White House for less than two weeks and is certainly no expert on this President,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. “This is all self-serving on his part and the media plays right into it. It’s embarrassing to watch.”
Trump himself later hit out at his former communications director.
“Scaramucci, who like so many others had nothing to do with my Election victory, is only upset that I didn’t want him back in the Administration (where he desperately wanted to be),” Trump tweeted. “Also, I seldom had time to return his many calls to me. He just wanted to be on TV!”
’Eventually he turns on everyone’
On Saturday, Trump ripped into Scaramucci in a pair of tweets, writing that the former aide, who served in the administration for 11 days in 2017, was fired “from a position that he was totally incapable of handling.” Noting that Scaramucci regularly appears on TV, he added: “Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!”
The President’s tweets came several says after Scaramucci said last week on MSNBC that Trump’s recent visits to El Paso and Dayton were a “catastrophe.” On Monday, he told Berman of Trump’s trips, “the only thing (Trump) was doing in those areas was talking about himself and praising himself and crowd sizes. And so it just – one day after the next it gets worse and worse and worse.”
Responding in a tweet on Sunday to Trump’s attacks, Scaramucci said that although he’s “fully” supported Trump over the last three years, “Recently, he has said things that divide the country in a way that is unacceptable,” adding, “Eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country.”
Scaramucci’s ousting in July 2017 came shortly after an infamous, expletive-laden interview he gave to The New Yorker in which he ripped top White House officials by name. In many of his post-White House TV appearances he has defended Trump, while also making public appeals about curtailing some of his behavior and changing policies, including a suggestion on CNN last year for Trump to “dial down the lying.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta contributed to this report.