Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said on “The View” on Friday that President Trump's onetime chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon has a “messianic complex” and white nationalist “tendencies.”
The candid and accusatory remarks were just the latest example of Scaramucci's openness about what he considered the Trump administration's flaws, during his short time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Mooch's dirt dishing is rather ironic. Upon his hiring, in July, he warned of a ruthless crackdown on leaks.
“You're either going to stop leaking or you're going to get fired,” he said on his fifth day on the job, which turned out to be the midpoint of his brief tenure.
Scaramucci's standing as an anti-leak crusader was quickly compromised. That same day, he vented his frustration that news of an assistant press secretary's firing had reached the media before the aide was notified of his termination — yet it was Scaramucci himself who had told Politico about his plan to remove Michael Short before informing Short.
As I wrote at the time, it looked like Scaramucci's own big mouth could undermine his effort to keep White House drama under wraps. And that was before the profanity-laced phone call to the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza that precipitated his ouster.
Scaramucci has kept on blabbing since leaving the administration. He told Stephen Colbert on CBS's “Late Show” last month that “there was a lot of infighting” in the White House, adding that “there was no love lost” between him and former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Now, Scaramucci is back to bashing Bannon. (“I'm not Steve Bannon,” he said in the phone call to Lizza. “I'm not trying to suck my own c---.”)
On Friday's episode of “The View,” Scaramucci offered praise for Bannon's speech-writing skill but leveled the same kind of criticism he shared with Lizza — albeit in much cleaner language.
“His worst quality, to me, was that he had a little bit of a messianic complex,” Scaramucci said. “He got very mad at me for going to Davos, Switzerland, to speak at the World Economic Forum, which was sanctioned by the communications team. But because he's an antiglobalist, and he was hitting that economic forum at Breitbart for so many years, that put me in disfavor with him.
“And so, you know, people that have messianic complexes, they think they're the answer, they're the solution.”
“Is he a white nationalist?” Scaramucci pondered later, responding to a question. “I would say that he has those tendencies. If you read Breitbart, there's a lot of that white nationalist economic fervor.”
Bannon rejects the white nationalist label, which suggests a desire for a whites-only state.
“I'm an economic nationalist,” he told the Wall Street Journal last fall. “I am an America first guy. And I have admired nationalist movements throughout the world, have said repeatedly strong nations make great neighbors. I've also said repeatedly that the ethno-nationalist movement, prominent in Europe, will change over time. I've never been a supporter of ethno-nationalism.”
Because Scaramucci doesn't work in the White House anymore, his comments Friday don't qualify as leaks. Still, the display of his freewheeling style is a reminder that he was a head-scratching pick to enforce a gag order.