On This Week, Anthony Scaramucci says that Trump “has to move away” from Bannon and Breitbart
Scaramucci says Bannon is one of the people “undermining [Trump’s] agenda” and “serving their own interests”
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From the August 13 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
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GEOREGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): I have to start with the president's statement yesterday. If you were White House communications director yesterday, would you have advised he give that statement?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, I wouldn’t have recommended that statement. I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that. I applaud [national security adviser] General [H.R.] McMaster for calling it out for what it is. It's actually terrorism. And whether its domestic or international terrorism, with the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the question is, why didn't the president do that? You know him well.
SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think Alex [Castellanos] mentioned one of the reasons why he doesn't like doing that. He likes doing the opposite of what the media thinks he's going to do. I think he's also of the impression that there is hatred on all sides, but I disagree with it. And so, here's the thing. Whether I was the White House communications director or not, I don’t think you’re going change the president. The president is going to do what he wants to do, how he wants to do it. But I think it's important for the people around him, George, to give him direct advice, to be blunt with him. I think he respects bluntness, and he respects candor. And I certainly would have never suggested him doing that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But is there anyone in the White House right now that said, boy, you just made a real mistake there?
SCARAMUCCI: I think people are probably reluctant to tell him the truth. Maybe Ivanka would do that. You saw her tweet this morning. Maybe Jared [Kushner] would do that. But you’ve also got this sort of Bannon-bart influence in there,which I think is a snag on the president. If the president really wants to execute that legislative agenda that I think is so promising for the American people, the lower-middle-class people and the middle-class people, then he has to move away from that sort of Bannon-bart nonsense, if you will.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You mean Bannon and Breitbart, Steve Bannon?
SCARAMUCCI: Oh, yeah. The whole thing is nonsensical. It’s not serving the president’s interests.
SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think the president knows what he’s going to do with Steve Bannon.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Which is what?
SCARAMUCCI: Well, let's leave it up to the president. It’s his decision. But I mean at the end of the day, I think the president has a very good idea of who the leakers are inside the White House. The president has a very good idea of the people that are undermining his agenda that are serving their own interests.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They include Steve Bannon?
SCARAMUCCI: Well, yeah. Look, we’re not on a phone call, a taped phone call. And so we're on live television, and so I would prefer to let the president make the decisions that the president needs to make.