Anthony Scaramucci insists that he’s not feuding with President Donald Trump.
“It’s not actually a feud for me. I don’t even take it personally,” said the Manhasset financier most noted for his 11-day stint as White House communications director. “It’s just part of his operating style to suppress people around him from speaking out and saying what is actually going on.”
Still, in an interview with Newsday, Scaramucci called the president a “full-blown demagogue” who has “early-stage dementia.”
Trump has targeted Scaramucci as a disgruntled opportunist. Last Monday, the president called him “a highly unstable ‘nut job.’ ”
“I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence,” Trump tweeted.
Scaramucci, ousted from the White House in 2017, until recent weeks largely had praised and defended Trump. Now, he is in the midst of a media blitz to portray the president as dangerous and urge fellow Republicans to work against his re-election.
“The president has to be removed from office,” Scaramucci told Newsday, asking other former administration and campaign officials to come forward to say, “This is what we see. This is the surgeon general’s warning label on this man.”
Scaramucci said he has long been a Republican — since Joe Margiotta’s days chairing the Nassau County Republican Party, he said — and wants others in the party to run against Trump.
“Let’s get some rational people in the mix,” he said, adding in one of several nods to what he said was the president’s cognitive decline: “Let’s get some people who love the country, who have very good policies, who don’t think Greenland is for sale or think that they’re the king of the Jews.”
On Wednesday, Trump called the prime minister of Denmark “nasty” and canceled a trip to the country after she called his interest in buying Greenland 'absurd.' He also took to Twitter to quote a right-wing radio host who said Israeli Jews love Trump “like he’s the King of Israel.”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on the Sinclair Broadcast Group called Scaramucci’s remarks about Trump’s mental health “ridiculous.” She said of the former aide, “He seems to have all of these people who are going to turn on the president, yet he can’t name who they are?”
Scaramucci said his recent about-face was inspired by Trump's policies and rhetoric, from the separation of migrant families at the Southern border to the president’s tweeting that four Democratic congresswomen of color “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
That comment actually did strike a personal chord, Scaramucci said, because he is the grandson of Italian immigrants.
When he was growing up in Port Washington, his grandmother was told to go back to where she came from, he said.
“For him to be saying something like that and for it to be going unchallenged in the Republican Party or among his acolytes, I thought was reprehensible,” Scaramucci said.
Scaramucci said his potential to galvanize the financial community against Trump is what gets under the president’s skin. He said that’s what may separate him from other one-time loyalists who have turned on Trump — including “The Apprentice” star and administration aide Omarosa Manigault Newman and former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to fraud and perjury.
“He moves the goalposts on everybody, and you don’t need to be unconditionally loyal to somebody in your life,” Scaramucci said. “Loyalty needs to be symmetrical.”