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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci from the White House Lawn with Hugh

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The audio:

07-25hhs-scaramucci

The transcript:

HH: Anthony Scaramucci, how are you? Welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

AS: It’s such an honor to be here, Hugh. How are you?

HH: Good. We’ll just keep talking to you through the break, and we’ll play it after the break. You’re working early today. Thank you. Nice to meet you.

AS: Nice to meet you as well.

HH: Bring up his mic. And nice blue shades, too.

AS: Oh, yeah.

HH: That’s a good look.

AS: Oh, sheesh, sorry about that.

HH: It’s a good look, Anthony.

AS: Good morning. How are you?

HH: What year did you graduate from Harvard Law School?

AS: So I was a class of 1989.

HH: Okay, what year was Cotton? Are you before Cotton? You’re before Cotton?

AS: No, Cotton was in ’94 or ’95. Cruz was ’94. Justice Gorsuch was ’91. I knew him. I think Rob was there, too.

HH: People underestimate. They don’t get this, that they’re dealing with an HLS guy.

AS: Yeah.

HH: …who’s now a comms director. So congratulations on that.

AS: Yeah, Rod was there, too, the deputy at Justice. He was in my section, I think.

HH: Who were your 1L professors? I’m always curious in stuff like this, because…

AS: Yeah, so my 1L professor is really good, Professor Michelman. I had him for property. Philip Heymann, who was at Justice for Clinton.

HH: You bet. You bet.

AS: I had him for criminal. I had Todd Rakoff for contracts, and I had the former dean, Martha Minow, for civil procedures. So those are the four courses.

HH: Did you have Charles Fried for Con Law?

AS: You know, I never had Charles Fried, but I did have Larry Tribe.

HH: Oh, you did?

AS: And I, he’s mad at me, because you know, he’s very liberal, and he was, you know, saying that oh, I must have got a thing…well, I got an A minus in his class.

HH: (laughing)

AS: And if Professor Tribe’s listening, because he probably isn’t, because you’re a conservative, the final, which he says I probably didn’t, but the final was on the Boland Amendment. You remember the Boland Amendment?

HH: Oh, sure, you bet. Withdrawing aid to Nicaragua, yeah.

AS: Yeah, so the…

HH: Laurence Tribe and I actually have a pretty good relationship on Twitter.

AS: Well, tell him I say hi, okay? Tell him that I was on your show complimenting him. Even though our views our different, he was a phenomenal professor. I learned a lot from him, and I read his hornbook on Con Law.

HH: You and me, both. Now the Mooch, they call you…

AS: Yeah.

HH: Are they going to call you that in the White House?

AS: I don’t know.

HH: Are you going back to Comms Director Scaramucci?

AS: I don’t know. Whatever they want to call me, okay? My feeling is, is that, and I said this in our first meeting. Everybody that I’ve ever worked with, no one has ever worked for me, and so people work with me. It’s a very important distinction, so…

HH: Okay.

AS: …at the end of the day…

HH: Let’s get to the hard stuff, all right?

AS: …anyway, that’s the collaboration element of what we have to do here. Stop the leaks.

HH: The President’s been tweeting this morning. I’m sure you’re aware of that.

AS: Yes. I am aware of it.

HH: Why not just fire Jeff Sessions?

AS: Well, listen, I mean you know, I think the President has a certain style, a certain skill set. He’s obviously frustrated. I said yesterday, I think, to Sarah Murray, maybe the two of them could get together. My guess is the President doesn’t want to do that. And so I think it’s going to, I think him and Jeff, or sorry, Attorney General Sessions, need to work this thing out.

HH: It’s clear the President wants him gone, isn’t it, Anthony?

AS: I have enormous amount, I have an enormous amount of respect for the Attorney General, but I do know the President pretty well. And if there’s this level of tension in the relationship, that that’s public, you’re probably right. But I don’t want to speak for the President on that, because he’s a cabinet official. And I sort of think that has to be between the president of the United States and the cabinet official.

HH: But it can’t be good. The reason I brought up Harvard Law School at the beginning, you know the law.

AS: Yeah.

HH: You know this very well. It cannot be good when the chief law enforcement officer and the president of the United States are not getting along publicly.

AS: Well, okay, listen, you know, you and I would probably be at odds with Eric Holder. I don’t know if you went to Harvard.

HH: I went to Michigan Law.

AS: You went to Michigan Law? Okay…

HH: Harvard undergrad, yeah.

AS: Okay, so you and I might be at odds with Eric Holder politically…

HH: You bet.

AS: But one of the things I would give him a lot of credit for is that he was a pretty good hockey goalie for the president. He was also willing to help the president inside the bounds of the law. I’m not saying these guys did anything illegal, but I think when you think about the relationship John F. Kennedy had with his brother as attorney general, or you think about that relationship that the president had with Eric Holder, President Obama, they probably don’t have that sort of relationship. And I think the President, and when he thinks about the architecture of his cabinet, I think he needs that sort of a relationship there.

HH: I agree with that.

AS: Are you, are you available to be the attorney general? Is that what I’m hearing here?

HH: No, I’m not ever going back into government. I did this once before.

AS: Okay, I’m just checking.

HH: But I did work for Fred Fielding, who Donald Trump Jr., when I was in the White House Counsel’s, best lawyer in D.C.

AS: Fred Fielding told one of my buddies, this was a great line, he said that I would have bet a trillion dollars this guy wouldn’t have survived that kind of political heat blast. But Fred, I’m still here, and looking forward to meeting you, sir, because I haven’t met you, yet. But I hear phenomenal things about you.

HH: He’s a terrific lawyer. Now let me talk to you about judges.

AS: Yeah.

HH: There is a backlog somewhere. And it’s great. Gorsuch is a home run, biggest accomplishment of the first six months.

AS: Yeah.

HH: You’ve had two confirmations at the 6th Circuit. There are 20 vacancies that lack a nominee. Anthony, you can walk down the hall and find Counsel McGahn and say where are the damn circuit court nominees?

AS: Yeah.

HH: We need to get these people nominated. And you know how important that is.

AS: Yes.

HH: …as an HLS guy. When is that going to happen?

AS: Yeah, okay, so soon. In fact, I was with the President last week. We were talking about Leonard Leo, who you know from the Federalist Society.

HH: Very well, Federalist Society, you bet.

AS: I have an enormous amount of respect for him. He’s very helpful in terms of these appointments and selections, terrific scholar, Cornell Law School. And so I think this stuff’s going to happen fairly quickly now. We’ve got to break some of the logjam that’s, you know, listen, the worst thing you can do for the President is have internecine fighting inside the West Wing. And so what we all have to do is subordinate our egos to the greater good of the agenda.

HH: Yes.

AS: And so you know, I’m not an American military person, but I’m a big troop supporter. I’m on the board of Business Executives for National Security. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’ve really studies the Army model of leadership. And as you know from the Army, the leaders, the generals eat last. They put the troops ahead of themselves. And if we’re going to work for this man, we have to start doing that in the context of the agenda and the President. And so for me, I said something to staff yesterday, which I really believe, that there’s 325 million people in our country, and there’s 300 of us in the West Wing. We’re one in a million. Just think about the extraordinary opportunity and the blessing that we have here to serve our country and serve our president. So if you’re going to fight with each other and leak on each other, and say stupid things about each other in the corridor, maybe we can stop doing that, and stop acting like Mean Girls from the 2004 movie.

HH: Good message.

AS: So you’re smiling. You remember that movie?

HH: She knows Mean Girls.

AS: And that was ridiculous, right? That’s what’s going on. We’ve got to get it to stop.

HH: Smart advice. Let’s talk about Mr. Mueller, for whom there is also, as with Fred Fielding, enormous respect around the city. I think it would be a disaster to fire him, an utter, it will eclipse the presidency. I think the President’s going to be exonerated.

AS: Yeah.

HH: I have seen no evidence of collusion.

AS: I know.

HH: Is your advice to the President not to fire Mueller?

AS: I’ll be on the record with this. In candid conversations with the President, I have said why would you fire him? Also, the other thing is people bring up this nonsense about the pardoning. There is absolutely no reason to bring up the pardoning. So here’s what happens, is there’s like media flashpoints or dog whistles in the media. If a two minute pardoning conversations becomes oh, he’s going to want to pardon himself, or this or that, is sort of nonsense. He does not need to pardon himself. He’s done absolutely nothing wrong. He’s going to be completely exonerated. I want you to think about Jared Kushner did yesterday. If his legal team though he had done something wrong, do you think he’d be standing here at those sticks…

HH: No, I know Abbe Lowell. He wouldn’t have let him do it.

AS: Yeah, I was with Abbe in the morning. We were rehearsing Jared’s statement, and that statement was refined, and very comprehensive. He’s done absolutely nothing wrong. I will tell you, Hugh, I was on that campaign early February. You tell me the day that South Carolina primary was, maybe it was March or February.

HH: It’s in February, one of the four in February, yeah.

AS: February, okay, so right then and there, after Jeb, Governor Jeb Bush left the race, the President and I had a conversation. I joined his campaign team and started building with Steven Mnuchin the apparatus for his fundraising. And so I was pretty early on that campaign, relative to other things. I didn’t see anything that could testify…

HH: No Russians anywhere?

AS: Nothing. Nothing. And they hit me with it, and I had to get three guys fired over the fake news story.

HH: Yeah, now in terms of that, it’s also reported that you’re dealing with Zucker now one on one, and that you’ve sent the message let’s get back on. And I want the President back doing every television show.

AS: 100%.

HH: It worked in the primaries. When is he going to start doing CNN, NBC, my show on Saturday mornings?

AS: Well…

HH: You’re the comms director. Get him out there.

AS: Well, let me say a couple things about that. I want to get the ship right inside. I obviously did a press conference and did a couple morning shows, but what I really want to do is subordinate myself to the job of restructuring and reorganization. So I can talk on TV, and it’s, you know, I have a face for radio, so this is probably easier to talk on radio, but let me just say this to you. My real job for the President is act as a business executive to restructure what’s going on, and reset the culture inside the place. Once we do that, my, our mission is to go to Breitbart all the way down the food chain to you tell me. I don’t know who the leftist leaning people are.

HH: Talking Points Memo.

AS: Whatever it might…

HH: Don’t do Media matters.

AS: Whatever it might be. I probably won’t do those, because they’re just so nasty.

HH: Yeah.

AS: I think that what was said yesterday about my dear friend and now business partner, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, I don’t even want to mention the people that said it, but these nasty characterization and, I mean, it’s so funny that the left will say things about the right and the treatment of women, and then they say this sort of nasty stuff about a beautiful mom, who she’s the first mom to stand…

HH: I know Sarah, yeah.

AS: …to stand behind that podium. Okay, she’s a wonderful person. She’s a high integrity, talk like that.

HH: You’re getting cut, you’re getting pulled out of here. You’ve got to go…

AS: Exactly. Okay. All right, so…

HH: Anthony, come back early and often from far over here.

AS: I don’t want to end on that note, though. Hugh, you’re a great American.

HH: Thank you for coming on. Good luck in your job.

AS: I enjoyed…help me get to Fred Fielding, okay? Promise?

HH: I will. I’ll call him today.

AS: Okay. Great talking to you.

HH: Take care, Anthony. Be well.

End of interview.

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