While political observers are scratching their heads over what motivated newly minted White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci to call New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza and deliver a vulgar rant, one thing is clear: It doesn’t look good for the Trump administration.
Appearing on “The Laura Ingraham Show” on Friday morning, Pat Buchanan, veteran commentator and former White House communications director under President Reagan, said that the Trump administration will have difficulty recovering from the embarrassing incident.
According to Buchanan, not only did the episode reinforce a negative image of Scaramucci already formed by some, but it also aired some very dirty laundry that was better left in the White House.
“This is a hard thing to recover from, I think, because it embellishes a certain image in the mind of ‘the Mooch’ and the bad blood revealed seems to point to a separation from the White House for somebody soon,” Buchanan said.
Scaramucci might be the communications director in name, but he is certainly not acting like one, he suggested.
“The communications director job … when I went in there … the job of the comms director was basically to structure a communications shop… [and coordinate messaging],” Buchanan said.
Buchanan was also baffled by Scaramucci’s assertion that Bannon is trying to boost his own public image by using President Trump’s name. Bannon has “kept a very low profile, and he’s done his job in the White House,” he said. “I haven’t seen him, you know, going out and seeking attention or publicity.”
“This looks like it dates to some real bad blood [between Scaramucci and] Bannon and Spicer and Reince, who apparently didn’t want this fellow in there,” said Buchanan.
Other veteran political commentators agreed Scaramucci’s rant will be a serious problem for the administration moving forward.
“This is so much not what a communications director should be doing,” said Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York in a separate interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
“It’s just absolutely bonkers what he is doing when you think about what he should be doing,” York said.
“You have to remember, after delivering this rant, the next morning the reporter to whom he delivered the rant, Ryan Lizza, was on CNN. And who calls in but Anthony Scaramucci to talk for half an hour, as if he had nothing better to do, explaining all of this,” York said.
“We all know that we’ve had palace intrigue in previous White Houses, we know we’ve had White House officials who were at each others’ throats, but we haven’t seen something like this on public display,” York continued.
But York also suggested President Donald Trump might actually approve of Scaramucci’s indecorous behavior.
“The one thing I would say here is the one person who might like it is the president,” York observed. “This guy is the person who was brought in. We don’t have any indication of what the president thinks — he’s not said he’s unhappy.”
Ingraham said she doubted that Trump approves of Scaramucci’s phone call to Lizza, but that it is the wrong way to handle any possible conflict in the White House, regardless of whether or not the President approves.
“This is not how you right the ship,” Ingraham said. “If you want to fire people, then fire people — you don’t need Scaramucci to come out and threaten people like [in] ‘My Cousin Vinny.'”
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