Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, has lashed out at Donald Trump, suggesting the president will one day “turn” on those he claims to be fighting for and that he may need to be replaced at the top of the Republican ticket in 2020.
On Monday, Scaramucci was asked by CNN whether he was “no longer an active supporter of President Trump and his re-election bid?”
Scaramucci replied: “I think that’s pretty obvious from over the weekend.”
Asked if he was calling for a change to the Republican nomination for president, Scaramucci said: “Well, I’m calling for it to be considered, yes.”
Scaramucci introduced that theme on Sunday, telling Axios: “We are now in the early episodes of Chernobyl on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process.”
He went on: “A couple more weeks like this and ‘country over party’ is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020. We can’t afford a full nuclear contamination site post-2020.”
Trump attacked Scaramucci in a series of tweets at the weekend, in which he said his fellow New Yorker had been “totally incapable of handling” his position in the White House and accused him of knowing “very little about me”.
We are now in the early episodes of Chernobyl on HBO, where the reactor is melting down
Trump said: “Anthony Scaramucci, who was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling, now seems to do nothing but television as the all-time expert on ‘President Trump’.
He said: “Like many other so-called television experts, he knows very little about me. Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!”
Trump appeared to have been triggered by an appearance by Scaramucci on MSNBC in which he described Trump’s efforts to console victims of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton as a “catastrophe”.
Trump, who is at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, did not immediately respond on Monday. According to Bloomberg News, press secretary Stephanie Grisham was referring to Scaramucci when she said: “This is all so self-serving on his part and the media plays right into it. It’s embarrassing to watch.”
Scaramucci was briefly employed in the Trump White House in July 2017, resigning after an at times obscene phone call with a New Yorker writer he said he thought was off the record was made public. He remained supportive and in October 2018 released a book, Trump: The Blue-Collar President.
In January this year, Scaramucci expressed support for the president, saying he probably would vote for Trump again. But that door has now closed.
Scaramucci tweeted on Sunday: “For the last three years I have fully supported this president. Recently he has said things that divide the country in a way that is unacceptable. So I didn’t pass the 100% litmus test. Eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country.”
Scaramucci also appeared to want to make amends for supporting Trump. He tweeted: “To those asking, ‘What took so long?’ You’re right. I tried to see [the] best in [Donald Trump] based on private interactions and select policy alignment. But his increasingly divisive rhetoric – and damage it’s doing to fabric of our society – outweighs any short-term economic gain.”
In his comments to CNN on Monday, Scaramucci said Trump’s sounded “more and more nonsensical”.
He said: “The guy’s dissembling a little bit, and he’s sounding more and more nonsensical. We’re sort of anesthetized to it, and people inside of Washington are, ‘Oh yeah, that’s just President Trump, just let him act like that.’ But you’re fracturing the institutions and all of the things that the country stands for, so that’s not worth the economic policies.”