Brash Anthony Scaramucci was back in Washington, D.C. for the first time since being banished from the White House and had a one-liner ready.
He’s coined a term for his history-making 11-day tenure.
“I became a unit of time,” said the short-lived assistant to President Donald Trump.
Eleven days, he said, “is a Scaramucci. I was fired 55 days ago so that’s five Scaramuccis.”
About 200 attendees for the Nevada State Dinner Gala on Monday at the Metropolitan Club, the latest stop on what’s become The Mooch’s No-Apologies Tour.
He had the crowd roaring early and often as the featured speaker for the kickoff of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual trip to to D.C.
He hinted he was going to sell “Frontstabber” t-shirts, a reference to his famous remarks back in July, before his exodus, when he said, “What I don’t like about Washington is people do not let you know how they feel. They’re very nice to your face, and then they take a shiv or a machete and they stab you in the back. I don’t like it, and I’m more of a front-stabbing person.”
The former Goldman Sachs financier-turned-White House-communications director was fired July 31, shortly after his incendiary interview with The New Yorker in which he ripped Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon and then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
Scaramucci gave no hint of having regrets over fall from grace. He said he was hired to find the leakers in the White House and he succeeded.
As for Bannon, who was fired about three weeks after Scaramucci, the latter told the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce gathering, “The problem Steve had, he was very concerned about his brand and his movement. And what do we do about the founders? What do we do about the Republic?” said Scaramucci.
He continued, “ We set it up so that we have to figure out how we get along with the opposition. Ronald Reagan had the best line ever: ‘I’m going to go for 80 percent and.give up 20 per cent to the other side and cut the deal so we can move forward. You can sit there as a bomb thrower and say ‘it’s my way or the the highway.’ That’s never going to work.”
Scaramucci emphasized the biggest test facing Trump is not North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un, whom the President has ridiculed as “Rocket Man.” In an aside, Scaramucci said a better insult would have been “Rocket Boy.”
Scaramucci stated Pakistan was “10 times” more dangerous to world peace than North Korea because of its growing nuclear weapons capabilities. He didn’t offer details.
Scaramucci said former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda “called me the day I got fired.” Scaramucci said he attended Lasorda’s 90th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on Sunday and theorized what advice Lasorda would give him about losing his job.
“You know what Tommy would say?” said Scaramucci. “Tommy would tell you ‘There’s no whining. No whining in sports, no whining in politics. There’s no victimization. Dust yourself off, get back in the game and tell your story.”
After his speech, I interviewed Scaramucci on the sidewalk of the ultra private Cosmopolitan Club, which doesn’t allow tape recorders on the premises. I asked him about Trump’s fiery rhetoric about firing players who kneeled during the national anthem. Trump’s comments led to mass protests by NFL players and owners who responded by kneeling before games Sunday and Monday.
“If you are asking me personally how I would have handled the situation, whether people like it or not, there is systemic and institutional racism in our society,” he said. “We are going to have to heal that divide.
“Having said that, as a family that has veterans I would never kneel,” he said. “In my mind you have to love the flag unconditionally. There are things that are not going right, but disavowing the flag is not the answer because its too agitating to the people you need to reach, to communicate to, what your grievance is, what your issue is.
Asked how the NFL can resolve the controversy, Scaramucci said, “I think NFL has got more problems related to the concussion issue, CTE. I think there are more issues related to that, and I think the NFL is going to have to continue to adapt itself away from that because we’re learning that unfortunately most of the players in the NFL have some level of that CTE injury to their brains.
“At some point it’s almost like tobacco and smoking and things like that. It’s an unhealthy situation to put those kids through and so I think over time it’s going to slide this way unless they do something creative and disruptive. The kneeling in front of flag is obviously going to upset half your fan base so that’s not helping the league.
Since 2009, Scaramucci has been holding his SALT Conference in Las Vegas. It stands for Skybridge Alternatives. Born out of the recession, the idea behind the conference, he said, was to “have an intersection of Hollywood, politics, economics thought leadership, as well as an international component.”
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