Scaramucci makes Sunday shows debut with vow to stop WH leaks – The Hill
New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci made his debut on the Sunday political shows with a vow to end the leaks that have embarrassed President Trump’s administration and revealed a White House roiled by infighting.
Trump tapped Scaramucci last week to serve as communications director, prompting the resignation of White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Scaramucci’s hiring Friday set off the latest in a series of leaks describing White House power struggles. The new communications director promised to end the leaks.
“I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks,” Scaramucci said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
If the leaks didn’t stop, Scaramucci said he would “pare down the staff,” adding that the leaks are “just not right.”
“I think it’s not fair to the president, it’s actually not fair to America or the people in the government,” he said.
“I’m not going to be able to stop the leaks in the intergovernmental agencies and all that other stuff, that’s a different ball of wax. But something is going on in the White House that the president does not like, and we’re going to fix it.”
Scaramucci made a similar point on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” saying he will work on “culturally changing” the environment at the White House.
“If they’re going to stay on that staff, they’re going to stop leaking,” Scaramucci said. “If you’re going to keep leaking, I’m going to fire everybody.”
The White House has faced several leaks since President Trump took office. Trump has in the past decried the leaks and called for those who have leaked information be found.
Scaramucci said the media has made some “fake news,” and there are some in the press who “stretch or fabricate things.”
In his new role, Scaramucci said he hopes to reset the relationship with the media and refine the message from the White House.
Scaramucci said the administration needs to make sure Trump’s message gets out to the American people, while touting Trump’s communication skills and accomplishments.
“He’s one of the most effective communicators that has ever been born,” Scaramucci said, “And so we’re going to make sure to get that message out directly to the American people.”
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Scaramucci said he thinks the White House needs to “deliver the messaging a little bit differently than we’ve been doing it in the past.”
Scaramucci also addressed the White House’s relationship with the media. President Trump often blasts reports and networks as “fake news.”
Scaramucci appeared to take a calmer tone with the media, saying he wants to create a “fresh start for everybody.”
“I certainly want to engage the mainstream media. I expect that they’re going to want to hold me and the White House accountable, but we’re going to want to sort of hold them accountable, too,” Scaramucci said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I’m hoping to create an era of a new good feeling with the media. Give everybody a fresh start. Let’s see if we can reset this and create a more positive mojo among everybody.”
Scaramucci on Sunday also sought to address the Russia situation — an issue which has also hampered Trump’s presidency since he took office.
“We certainly want to de-escalate things,” Scaramucci said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think the Russian situation is overblown.”
Much of Trump’s presidency has been focused on the investigation into potential connections between Trump’s campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race, which Trump has decried as a “witch hunt.”
The president and his aides have repeatedly denied any collusion as reports continue to surface related to the Russian meddling.
Earlier this month, news emerged that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpConway: Trump doesn’t think he’s lying on voter fraud, wiretap claims‘The Simpsons’ turned down Trump guest appearance on show: producerGOP consultant: Kid Rock would be ‘prohibitive favorite’ if he enters Michigan Senate race MORE Jr. and other campaign aides met last year with a Russian lawyer. Trump Jr. later released a chain of emails ahead of a New York Times story that detailed his conversations in setting up the meeting with a Russian lawyer, whom he was told had compromising information on Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump: Democrats, Russians laughing at ‘phony Russian Witch Hunt’Scaramucci makes Sunday shows debut with vow to stop WH leaksTrump backers eye GOP primary challenges for Flake, HellerMORE from the Russian government.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump’s lawyers are looking into the president’s authority to grant pardons related to the investigation.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted: “While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.”
Scaramucci said on Sunday the president does not have to pardon anyone in connection with the Russia investigation.
“He’s basically saying he doesn’t have to pardon anybody,” he said. “The president is thinking about pardoning nobody … The president is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russia thing is a nonsensical thing.”
Scaramucci’s appearances come amid a communications staff shake up at the White House.
Scaramucci announced Friday that Sarah Huckabee Sanders will serve as the new press secretary, following Spicer’s resignation.
In a tweet Saturday, Scaramucci also issued a warning.
“The politics of ‘gotcha’ are over,” he tweeted. “I have a thick skin and we’re moving on to @POTUS agenda serving the American people.”
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