National Nightmare: Anthony Scaramucci Cancels Online Venting Session – Vanity Fair
Anthony Scaramucci sounded unusually contrite Tuesday afternoon, some 24 hours after he was abruptly fired as White House communications director, ending a 10-day cameo working for President Donald Trump. “The president told me he knows I have his back, but he has to try to tighten the ship,” he told HuffPost’s Vicky Ward, describing the conversation in which newly-installed Chief of Staff asked for his resignation as “very polite.” Asked what he is going to do next, the Mooch was cryptic. “I am now going to go dark,” he said. “Then I will reemerge. As me.”
Before he (temporarily) disappears from public view, however, Scaramucci had a few things to get off his chest. Which is why he promised to tell the American people what really went down during his week and a half on the job, in an “online event” Friday that could be the biggest spectacle in Washington since James Comey’s Senate testimony. Or at least, that was the plan. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after announcing his web special, in a whiplash move reminiscent of his whirlwind White House tenure, the Mooch had a change of heart:
In a short preview of the (now-cancelled) air-clearing exercise, Scaramucci had told CNN that he was brought into the West Wing as a “special purpose vehicle” to disrupt the infighting and leaks and that, in truth, he expected to only be in the position six to nine months. He told Chris Cuomo and Sophie Tatum that he considers his 10 days in the White House to have been a success—highlights include Sean Spicer resigning in protest and Reince Priebus getting the boot—despite the fact that his story has been “misconstrued.” And he said that if he had known he was speaking to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza on the record—which, as the top communications official for the White House, he probably should have—he would have refrained from using vulgar language on behalf of the president.
Presumably, before the event was canceled, he planned to offer some alternative word choices for what he would have said instead. Like, rather than claiming Steve Bannon is “trying to suck his own c*ck,” perhaps would he have used the more presidential “shlong”? Instead of saying he wanted to “kill all the leakers,” maybe, in retrospect, he would have left his intentions sufficiently vague, saying only that the leakers should “sleep with the fishes”? Presumably there were other people on the Mooch’s West Wing Hit List, too, whom he was unable to oust during his short-lived spin through the West Wing. In the interest of full disclosure, it would have been nice for him to reveal those names.
With the clock ticking down to Moochapalooza—which would have been “broadcast on various live platforms with help from former Fox News co-president Bill Shine”—a memo detailing the Mooch’s now-obsolete “communications plan” surfaced online. Scaramucci’s directives reportedly included:
“Leave old grudges behind, but never forget”
“Humanize POTUS and burnish his image. For example, POTUS is the best golfer to serve as President. Perhaps, we embrace it with a national online lottery to play a round of golf with him….or a charity auction.”
“POTUS is the greatest TV star in history. Comms should produce video content that constructively operates as ‘The President Donald J. Trump’ show”
“Meet with Ryan Lizza (not to litigate the past—to reset for moving forward)”
Will the Mooch, now free of his White House duties, really “leave old grudges behind”? Does he still plan to take Lizza out for a beer? Did he really nickname the former chief of staff “rancid penis”? Did he really report him to the F.B.I.? We can only pray that one day, in a Facebook Live chat the Mooch doesn’t announce and cancel all in the span of 14 hours, those questions and more will be answered.
This article has been updated.