Anthony Scaramucci says White House 'plotters' working to oust Donald Trump
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has used his first television interview since his sacking to claim there are plotters inside the White House looking to oust US President Donald Trump.
"What happens in Washington ... is the President is not a representative of the political establishment class, so for whatever reason the people have made a decision that they want to eject him," he told George Stephanopoulos on This Week on ABC News on Sunday (Monday NZ Time).
"I think there are elements inside of Washington, also inclusive in the White House, that are not necessarily abetting the President's interests or his agenda."
Scaramucci on Trump's remarks: "He needed to be much harsher as it related to white supremacists." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/ygzkSiZcde— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 13, 2017
The interview with Stephanopoulos was Scaramucci's first since he was sacked 11 days into his White House job.
Responding to questions about whether Trump should have spoken out against white supremacists after a rally in Charlottesville turned violent on Saturday, Scaramucci was critical of the President.
"I wouldn't have recommended that statement," Scaramucci said after Trump criticised violence "on many sides" but failed to clearly condemn the white nationalist side.
"I think he would have needed to have been much harsher as it related to the white supremacists."
Scaramucci appeared to link Trump's response to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was formerly executive chairman of the right-wing Breitbart website.
Scaramucci: "I don't think you're going to change the president. The president's going to do what he wants to do." pic.twitter.com/DRX3vXwN8N— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 13, 2017
He said the "toleration of [white supremacy] by Steve Bannon is inexcusable".
Scaramucci said Trump "has to move away from that sort of Bannon-bart nonsense" and "move more to the mainstream" way of thinking that is embraced by most moderate Republicans and independents.
"That whole thing is nonsensical. It's not serving the president's interests. He's got to move more into the mainstream. He's got to be more into where the moderates are and the independents … that love the president, so if he does that he'll have a very successful legislative agenda," he said.
He also appeared to suggest Bannon was chief among the leakers in the White House.
"It's his decision, but at the end of the day, the President has a very good idea of who the leakers are inside the White House," said Scaramucci.
"The President has a very good idea of the people who are undermining his agenda that are serving their own interests. I think the President knows what he's going to do with Steve Bannon."
He said it was hard for White House aides to change Trump's thinking, but that those around him needed to "be blunt with him."
"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's hatred on all sides, but I disagree with it," he said.
- Sydney Morning Herald