Given his Sunday appearance on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Anthony Scaramucci’s visit to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” the next night was a little less climactic than expected.
Still, the image-rehabilitation tour went on for “the Mooch,” who continued Monday to offer his insight on a divided White House even as he remained loyal to President Trump.
Introduced as the “shortest-tenured communications director in White House history,” Scaramucci got off to a bit of a rough start by opening with a joke. Not unlike his Twitter promise to arrive for Colbert’s show with a “front stabbing knife” (a promise he kept by the time the segment ended), Scaramucci playfully said he had already added the “Late Show” writers to his “kill list.”
“Uh-huh. So you’re comedically threatening to kill people who work for me?” Colbert dryly asked.
“I’m not allowed to joke anymore, I’ve learned that,” Scaramucci countered, which after a moment broke the late-night host into a laugh. “This conversation is off the record,” Scarmucci quickly added — a reference to his recorded, unfiltered conversation with a New Yorker writer that helped cost him his White House job only 11 days after he was hired.
While the tone was understandably freer than the straight politics of Scaramucci’s visit with Stephanopoulos, the appearance struck some familiar notes. Colbert asked Scaramucci about his former boss’ difficulty condemning the neo-Nazis whose protest erupted in violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.
Scaramucci referenced Trump’s more direct statement on Monday, and Colbert asked of the two differing responses, “Which one do you think he meant? The one that’s written down, or the one he comes up with in the moment?”
“He is a compassionate person. I know him as a compassionate person,” Scaramucci explained, which led to a ripple of groans through the studio audience.
When Colbert asked for evidence, Scaramucci offered Trump’s decision to give up a “luxurious lifestyle” to take the “tough job” of becoming president.
“Who cares?” Colbert responded. “Really, we’re supposed to feel bad for a guy because he gave up a million-dollar lifestyle to become the most powerful man in the world?”
Scaramucci claimed Trump’s failure to denounce the white supremacists was part of his “counterintuitive thing” in handling the media, and again referenced his later, stronger statement. “Two days later! Does he order his spine on Amazon Prime?” Colbert countered.
Scaramucci then repeated many of the same talking points from his “This Week” appearance, advising the president to better appeal to moderates and independents. When the conversation turned to his relationships with former chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, Colbert quipped, “Give me some Mooch here.”
The Mooch said his relationship with Priebus had changed since his time as an RNC donor, but he was more direct about Bannon.
“If it was up to me, he would be gone,” Scaramucci said.
Colbert asked Scaramucci if he thought Bannon was a white supremacist. “I don’t think he’s a white supremacist, although I’ve never asked,” he said. “What I don’t like, though, is the toleration of it.”
Scaramucci was also asked if he felt burned by his brief time at the White House, but the former communications director demurred.
“Let me put it this way,” he said. “When you take a job like that, your expiration date is coming. I didn’t think I’d last too long, but I thought I’d last longer than a carton of milk.”
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