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OpinionColumnistsRita Ciolli

Trump’s Long Island bouncer


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This originally appeared in The Point. To subscribe, click here.

The embodiment of the culture of Long Island, a place we all know is truly different from the rest of the country, has gone through many iterations. The ’90s were the Joey Buttafuoco era, the autobody shop owner who had an affair with a certain Lolita.

And entertainers like Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Alec Baldwin and now Kate McKinnon have come to define our genius at making fun of ourselves and brilliantly razzing others.

In less than a week, however, Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramucci, the new White House director of communications from Manhasset, seems to have willingly taken up the mantle. Certainly, he likes announcing that he’s arrived: On Tuesday night, he tweeted a picture of him aboard his first flight on Air Force One.

And he’s proud of getting in your face, just like his outer-borough boss, Donald Trump. It got very New Yorkish Wednesday morning on national television. In an pugilistic exchange with Chris Cuomo, host of CNN’s “New Day,” who criticized Trump’s public trashing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Scaramucci defended Trump’s “upfrontness” by citing a “great line” from former NYC Mayor Ed Koch. “He says, ‘Hey, I’m not getting the cancer. I’m giving you the cancer.’ And the point is that the president is very expressive guy, and he is going to let the society know and the people of the United States know how he feels on a day-to-day basis.”

Actually Koch said, “I’m not the type to get ulcers . . . I give them.” But close enough, like his boss, he almost nailed the reference.

But it seems anyone can be a brash New Yorker, Scaramucci knows that at his core he is a Long Islander.

Peter Nicholas, a Wall Street Journal reporter, said so Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He said his newspaper’s 45-minute interview Tuesday with Trump was more disciplined than say the lengthy, rambling one the president gave to The New York Times because Scaramucci was now in charge of controlling the rope line. Other top aides, such as chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, were also present to keep things in check.

“And at one point they kind of policed the fact that it was time to leave. Anthony Scaramucci got up, stood behind me. He kind of made a joke about him affecting the role of a Long Island bouncer. You know, it was time for us to head out of the Oval Office,” said Nicholas.

What exactly did Scaramucci say, The Point wanted to know. Nicholas replied in an email that he quipped that, “Gary (Cohn) and I are bouncers from Long Island.”