Scaramucci: Bannon’s ‘toleration’ of white nationalism is ‘inexcusable’
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hit at Steve Bannon for his controversial views a day after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, descended into violence.
During ABC News’ livestream interview after This Week, Scaramucci was asked if he believes Bannon is a white supremacist or white nationalist. Scaramucci said he didn’t know and hasn’t directly asked Bannon about his views.
“I’ve never sat down with Steve Bannon and said, ‘Hey, are you a white nationalist or a white supremacist?’ But I think the toleration of it by Steve Bannon is inexcusable,” Scaramucci said.
Ahead of the livestream, Scaramucci gave his first television interview since his short-lived tenure in the White House, speaking out against Bannon and saying the president “knows what he’s going to do with” him.
Speaking with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week, Scaramucci criticized the influence of the website Breitbart and Steve Bannon, who was the executive chairman of Breitbart before joining the Trump campaign and later the administration, saying that there’s “this sort of ‘Bannon-bart’ influence” in the White House that he thinks “is a snag on the president.”
When asked by Stephanopoulos if that influence stemmed from Bannon, Scaramucci said, “I think the president knows what he’s going to do with Steve Bannon.”
“Let’s leave it up to the president. It’s his decision, but at the end of the day, the president has a very good idea of who the leakers are inside the White House. The president has a very good idea of the people who are undermining his agenda, that are serving their own interests,” Scaramucci added.
Asked if that included Bannon, Scaramucci said, “Well, yeah.” He then said, “I would prefer to let the president make the decisions the president needs to make.”
Scaramucci’s frustration with Bannon was put on full display last month after New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza published an article detailing an expletive-laced phone conversation he had with Scaramucci.
In the call, Scaramucci went after Bannon, using vulgar language to describe the chief strategist.
Asked about the call on This Week Sunday morning, Scaramucci said “the words were mischaracterized in the original article,” before noting that Lizza is “not misquoting me, but he is mischaracterizing me.”
“Obviously I paid the consequences,” Scaramucci told Stephanopoulos.
When discussing the influences that he thinks are impacting Trump, Scaramucci urged the president to take a more mainstream approach in order to sell his agenda.
“If the president really wants to execute the legislative agenda that I think is so promising for the American people, the lower middle-class people and the middle-class people, then he has to move away from that ‘Bannon-bart’ nonsense,” he said.
“That whole thing is nonsensical. It’s not serving the president’s interests. He’s got to move more into the mainstream.”
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