WASHINGTON – Short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that Steve Bannon is hurting President Donald Trump’s ability to move his agenda forward, and suggested the administration move toward the political “mainstream.”
“You also got this sort of Bannon-bart influence in there, which I think is a snag on the president,” Scaramucci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “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.”
Scaramucci blended the name of Bannon, chief strategist and senior counselor to the president, with Breitbart News, the far-right news and commentary website that Bannon ran before joining Trump’s presidential campaign.
Scaramucci’s eventful 10-day tenure at the White House ended Jul. 31, days after he made lewd comments about Bannon and others in an interview with the New Yorker. Sunday’s appearance was his first television interview since then. On Monday, he’s scheduled to appear on “The Late Show” on CBS.
Asked if Bannon will also be shown the door at the White House, Scaramucci said, “the president knows what he’s going to do,” and “has a very good idea of the people that are undermining his agenda.” Scaramucci said he recently “had a very candid conversation” with Trump.
Bannon declined comment on Scaramucci’s remarks.
“He’s got to move more into the mainstream, he’s got to be more into where the moderates are and the independents are,” Scaramucci said of Trump. “If he doesn’t do that, you’re going to see inertia and you’re going to see this resistance from more of the establishment senators that he needs to curry favor with.”
The former New York financier also linked the influence of Bannon to Trump’s president’s failure to forcibly denounce white supremacists who held a rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly.
“I wouldn’t have recommended that statement,” Scaramucci said. “He needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that.”
Scaramucci said of his firing by new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, “what happens was sort of meant to happen.
“Obviously, I wish they would have given me a bar of soap and told me to go wash my mouth out in the bathroom and move on,” he said.