Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on Sunday criticized President Trump’s response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that erupted into violence the day before.
“I wouldn’t have recommended that statement,” Scaramucci said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that.”
Scaramucci went on to “applaud” Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, “for calling it out for what it is. It’s actually terrorism, and whether it’s domestic or international terrorism, with the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out.”
Trump has come under intense criticism for his apparent unwillingness to condemn white supremacists, instead saying “many sides” were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville. Over the weekend, counter-protesters marched in opposition of the white nationalist rally where supporters carried Confederate and Nazi flags. One person died, another 19 were injured, when a man drove a car into the crowd of counter-protesters.
In Scaramucci’s first televised interview since his dismissal from the White House, he went on to address the profane rant to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza that precipitated his downfall.
Claiming Lizza “wrote the article like I was unhinged and overly emotional and bombastic,” Scaramucci said, “When you hear the tape, it’s a very normal conversation. So the words were mischaracterized in the original article. He’s mischaracterizing again.”
“He’s not misquoting you, though,” This Week host George Stephanopoulos interjected.
“He’s not misquoting me but he is mischaracterizing,” Scaramucci replied. “There’s a lot of difference between the lip and cup of substance and style.”
Scaramucci was also asked if he thought he deserved to be fired.
“I wish they would’ve given me a bar of soap and told me to go wash my mouth out in the bathroom and move on,” he said. “It was going to be very hard for me to stay in the job given the fact that Gen. [John F.] Kelly took over [as White House chief of staff]. And so I respect Gen. Kelly and my feeling about the whole thing is that what happened was sort of meant to happen.”