Anthony Scaramucci is pulling no punches as the House prepares to open its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s behavior to the public, calling his former boss a “traitor” in his latest break with the administration.
The short-lived White House communications director spoke with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday, issuing a prediction that the American people would soon see Trump with a whole new light as the impeachment inquiry moves into the public domain later this week.
“There will be other elements of this story that unfold where people say: ‘OK, wait a minute,’” Scaramucci said on Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” program. “There’s a combination of incompetence, there’s a combination of the destruction of the executive branch of the United States, in addition to the lawlessness and traitorous like behavior.”
“Traitorous-like behavior?” Stelter asked.
“Oh there’s no question,” Scaramucci said.
“It’s a strong word,” Stelter said.
“What word would you use?” Scaramucci replied. “You’re on the phone with the president of the Ukraine and you’re strongarming him to go after your political opponent. You become a traitor to the Constitution and a traitor to the laws of the United States. You want to pretend that it’s not traitorous behavior? We can pretend that it isn’t and we can continue to gaslight.”
The House voted late last month, largely along party lines, to formalize the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine. During the discussion on July 25, the president repeatedly pressed his counterpart to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter. A parade of former and current administration officials have linked the demand to the release of military aid to Ukraine, painting it as a clear push for a quid pro quo.
Trump has rejected the notion that his behavior was untoward, repeatedly calling the call “perfect” while lambasting his Democratic critics. Republicans, on the other hand, have largely stayed silent or gone on the airwaves to vocally defend Trump and cast the probe as yet another “witch hunt” meant to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
Scaramucci served just 11 days in the administration before he was fired in July 2017, but spent the intervening years vocally defending Trump on television and supporting his controversial policies. That changed earlier this year as the pair began exchanging barbs, with Scaramucci calling the president a “jackass” and a “paper tiger.”
“The negatives of Trump’s demagoguery now clearly outweigh the positives of his leadership, and it is imperative that Americans unite to prevent him from serving another four years in office,” Scaramucci wrote in a blistering op-ed in August.
He continued that criticism on Sunday, and said he was “just shocked that [Republicans] would put their partisan interest and their self-preservation to stay in power over the law.”
“As he continues to gaslight, we have to call him into account for what is actually going on,” Scaramucci said of Trump. “No, this is full-blown traitorous activity, and once it gets exposed, then it’ll be up to the American people.”