The Scaramucci era only lasted 11 days, so it’s fitting that it only took the former White House communications director one day to break his silence on what went wrong.
Anthony Scaramucci opened up to HuffPo’s Vicky Ward on Tuesday afternoon, offering his take on the rise and fall of the Mooch. Scaramucci reflected on his over-the-top praise for President Trump in his debut press conference, commenting, “The president thought I killed it.” He seemed upset at media reports that he skipped his son’s birth to attend a Boy Scout jamboree with the president, explaining that the baby came early and he could not head home due to the no-fly-zone around Air Force One. He said he did not get a chance to talk with Trump face-to-face after he was fired by new Chief of Staff John Kelly, but Trump later told him by phone that “he knows I have his back, but he has to try to tighten the ship.”
The most interesting tidbit, however, is Scaramucci’s defense of what proved to be a career-ending interview with The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza. According to the Huffington Post, Scaramucci was upset that reporters tweeted that Kimberly Guilfoyle, co-host of The Five, attended a dinner with him, the president, and other prominent figures from Fox News and the Trump administration on Wednesday night:
[…] since only the truncated guest list had been released, he knew that the inclusion of Guilfoyle would raise suspicion. He said he was aware that some associates and members of the media were gossiping about his friendship with the Fox host and feared this particular leak would only make matters worse.
Scaramucci strongly denies having a sexual relationship with Guilfoyle. Stone, a friend of Guilfoyle’s, explained that Scaramucci and Guilfoyle “are very close friends but nothing more.” He added, “He is way too short for Kimberly.” Neither Guilfoyle nor Fox News responded to requests for comment.
Immediately after the dinner, Scaramucci called Lizza to demand that he reveal his sources and to vent about Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon in extremely colorful terms. He said he was hurt that Lizza published their discussion, though he acknowledges it was on the record:
“The Lizzas and Scaramuccis have been friends for over 50 years. My dad knew his dad from construction, and we were building a personal relationship. Most of what I said was humorous and joking. Legally, it may have been on the record, but the spirit of it was off. And he knew that.”
Lizza explained that, unlike Scaramucci, he does not think all conversations between Long Islanders of Italian descent are privileged:
When I asked Lizza for his response, he wrote back: “I’ve only known Anthony in his capacity as a Trump surrogate and then White House communications director. We are not and have never been ‘old family friends,’ though I think our fathers knew each other, so maybe that’s what he’s talking about. (The Long Island Italian world in that generation is relatively small.) But again, that would not be a reason to suppress an explosive on-the-record interview.”
Scaramucci said that despite everything, he plans to take Lizza out for a beer. It seems Scaramucci is still sketchy on the term “off the record,” so this could be interesting.