Anthony Scaramucci 08122019
CNN
Anthony Scaramucci 08122019
Now playing
02:19
Scaramucci: Trump views people as potential transactions
CNN
Now playing
03:14
'Performative outrage': Avlon on GOP backlash to Rep. Waters
Two Honduran children found clinging to an island surrounded by a powerful current in the Rio Grande were rescued by Border Patrol agents and taken into custody, the region's top border official said, the latest example of the dangers migrants face as a growing number desperately attempt to reach the US.
U.S. Border Patrol
Two Honduran children found clinging to an island surrounded by a powerful current in the Rio Grande were rescued by Border Patrol agents and taken into custody, the region's top border official said, the latest example of the dangers migrants face as a growing number desperately attempt to reach the US.
Now playing
02:22
See Border Patrol rescue 2 migrant children in Rio Grande
Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images
Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
02:59
Enten: Biden is focused on what Americans care about
CNN
Now playing
02:40
Biden says he's praying for 'right verdict' in Chauvin trial
ST. PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 6:  Former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale concedes the election to his Republican opponent Norm Coleman November 6, 2002 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mondale and Coleman were in a race for U.S. Senate that was too close to call the evening before.  (Photo by Mark Erickson/Getty Images)
Mark Erickson/Getty Images
ST. PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 6: Former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale concedes the election to his Republican opponent Norm Coleman November 6, 2002 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mondale and Coleman were in a race for U.S. Senate that was too close to call the evening before. (Photo by Mark Erickson/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:00
Walter Mondale dies at 93
george w bush congress immigration rhetoric cbs intv sot mxp vpx_00000000.png
george w bush congress immigration rhetoric cbs intv sot mxp vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
01:25
Bush calls on Congress to tone down 'harsh rhetoric' on immigration
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence" on March 23, 2021 in Washington, DC.  Many senators spoke both for and against gun control the day after a shooting in Boulder, Colorado where a gunman opened fire at a grocery store, killing ten people. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Constitutional and Common Sense Steps to Reduce Gun Violence" on March 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. Many senators spoke both for and against gun control the day after a shooting in Boulder, Colorado where a gunman opened fire at a grocery store, killing ten people. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:18
Berman on Cruz's latest tweet: 'The pot calling the kettle violent'
Now playing
01:57
Chuck Hagel criticizes Trump's statement on Afghanistan
gun laws shootings Comer pamela brown nr vpx _00015627.png
CNN
gun laws shootings Comer pamela brown nr vpx _00015627.png
Now playing
02:23
'I can't answer that': Kentucky lawmaker responds to CNN on gun policy
Now playing
02:39
National security adviser: Russia will face consequences if Navalny dies in prison
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted 230 to 199 on Friday evening to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from committee assignments over her remarks about QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House voted 230 to 199 on Friday evening to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from committee assignments over her remarks about QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
Now playing
03:20
Marjorie Taylor Greene lashes out at media after backlash over controversial caucus
AP
Now playing
03:16
Maxine Waters: Jim Jordan is a bully and I shut him down
US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, leaves her office on Capitol Hill on February 4, 2021 in Washington, DC.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, leaves her office on Capitol Hill on February 4, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:51
Marjorie Taylor Greene launching 'America First' caucus
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Russia at the White House in Washington, DC on April 15, 2021. - The United States announced sanctions and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats Thursday in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin's US election interference, a massive cyberattack and other hostile activity.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Russia at the White House in Washington, DC on April 15, 2021. - The United States announced sanctions and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats Thursday in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin's US election interference, a massive cyberattack and other hostile activity.
Now playing
02:22
White House backtracks on refugees decision after criticism
Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images
Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
02:44
'National embarrassment': Biden reacts to mass shootings

Editor’s Note: Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, was a political consultant for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 and was counselor to Clinton in the White House. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. View more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN) —  

Some politicians are great one-on-one but cannot project warmth to a crowd. “If he/she could just meet every voter, they’d get 100% of the vote,” their staffers say to anyone who’ll listen.

Donald Trump is the opposite. To know him is to hate him.

Many of those who have been closest to Trump just can’t stand the guy. Anthony Scaramucci is the latest. The Mooch has had enough of Trump’s “dissembling” – a ten-dollar word for lying – and his racism. He even thinks the GOP should consider dumping the President from the 2020 ticket.

I don’t see a Republican groundswell for a Dump Trump movement, but it is interesting how many of those closest to Trump have already dumped him. Take Michael Cohen, please. Mr. Cohen was Trump’s pit bull, his fixer, his consigliere. Cohen said he’d “take a bullet” for Trump. No more. Before decamping for the pokey, Cohen testified that his one-time hero is in fact “a racist, a con man, a cheat.”

Omarosa Manigault Newman, who starred on Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” and worked for him in the White House, wrote in her tell-all that Trump is a racist who used the N-word on the set of the show. (Although she concedes she never personally heard him utter that epithet.)

Some of the President’s most senior national security and economic advisers have been reported saying the most contemptuous things. Bob Woodward’s book “Fear: Trump in the White House” is replete with examples:

  • Former Defense Secretary James Mattis: After briefing Trump on a potential nuclear showdown with North Korea, Mattis – a four-star Marine general – is reported to have said, “the President acted like — and had the understanding of — a ‘fifth or sixth grader.’” Mattis has denied that he made this statement.
  • Gary Cohn, former chair of Trump’s National Economic Council, called Trump “a professional liar.” Cohn has denied Woodward’s claims.
  • Former White House chief of staff – and another Marine general – John Kelly called the Trump White House “crazytown,” and is reported to have called his boss “unhinged,” “off the rails,” and “an idiot.” Kelly denied that he called the President an idiot and called Woodward’s book “B.S.”
  • Veteran attorney and former Trump lawyer John Dowd told Woodward of a practice session of questions and answers with Trump, as if Dowd were Mueller. Dowd’s conclusion? Trump is “a f—ing liar.” Dowd has denied this claim.
  • Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who rose to CEO of Exxon-Mobil, reportedly concluded his boss was “a moron.” Tillerson didn’t confirm or deny that he made the claim. But he later told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer Trump is “a man who’s undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things…” This sometimes led Trump to demand actions that were not legal, Tillerson told Schieffer.

Apparently the major river flowing through Washington is not the Potomac, it’s Denial. Back in my days in the Clinton White House, Woodward quoted me saying unkind (but hilarious) things about some of my colleagues. But I didn’t even try to deny saying them. You know why? ‘Cause I said them. I suspect these folks did as well.

Get our free weekly newsletter

But here’s the other side of the coin: The further you get from Trump the more some folks love him. He is beloved by rural, older, non-college educated white folks, people who would be kicked out on their keisters if they showed up at Mar-a-Lago. Trump probably wouldn’t be caught dead in their ZIP codes, but he believes – perhaps correctly – “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

That may be. But it’s also true that a whole lot of the people who know Donald Trump best have thrown him under the bus.