New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is making sure Americans know he’s loyal to President Donald Trump — and that he has the president’s ear.
Since it was announced Friday that the New York financier would take over from former aide Mike Dubke, who resigned in May, Scaramucci has spoken to reporters in the White House briefing room, made television appearances and tweeted plenty.
From his views on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election to the changes he wants to make in the White House, here are nine things we learned from Scaramucci’s public comments.
1. He knows how to flatter Trump. When talking about the prospects of health care legislation, Scaramucci said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" that Trump always gets what he wants. If Trump was watching, he heard Scaramucci call him “probably the most effective legislative liaison person in the world” on CBS and tell CNN that no one else could make the leap from business mogul to politician to president as quickly as Trump did.
2. He is talking to the boss. Scaramucci said on Sunday during an interview with CNN’s "State of the Union" that Trump had called him from Air Force One on Saturday to discuss Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.
3. Like Trump, he’s not sure Russia meddled in 2016 election. During the same interview on CNN, he asserted — citing Trump anonymously at first before later revealing him as his source — "that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it."
4. He’s sorry he called Trump a "hack." In August 2015, Scaramucci called Trump a "hack politician" during a TV appearance, saying it was "anti-American" for Trump to have made comments about "hedge fund guys paying nothing" in taxes. On Friday, Scaramucci said that was "one of the biggest mistakes that I made because I was an unexperienced person in the world of politics." He’s still hearing from Trump about it — Scaramucci said the president "brings it up every 15 seconds."
5. He shares the boss’s distaste for leaks. In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Scaramucci said he is going to "take dramatic action to stop those leaks." He added that "something is going on in the White House that the president does not like, and we’re going to fix it."
6. He’s considering more staff shake ups. Scaramucci told "Fox News Sunday" he would "pare down the staff" if leaks continue. On Friday during the White House press briefing, Scaramucci only guaranteed that Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino would remain in their posts, saying he would "get to know" the rest of the staff.
7. He would like to bring back on-camera press briefings. After weeks of off-camera briefings, Scaramucci said during Friday’s press briefing that he would speak to Trump about the format of press briefings, adding that "we may" have more on-camera appearances for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the new press secretary.
8. He might micromanage. Scaramucci said Sanders will be behind the podium, but that does not mean he will not have tips for how to wrangle the press. On Sunday, the communications director said on CNN that if Sanders was watching, he wanted her to know that he liked the hair and makeup person the press shop used on Friday.
9. He’s proud of his credentials. Scaramucci is a Wall Street financier who went law school with former President Barack Obama. That might not always be germane to the topic at hand, but the new communications director brought them up anyway. On Sunday, Scaramucci talked about how his Harvard Law attendance could make it easier for Trump’s legal and White House teams to interface.