Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci will join ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday for his first interview since his whirlwind 11-day tenure as part of the Trump administration.
We asked ABC News Political Director Rick Klein, Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, Political Commentator Cokie Roberts, and Republican strategist and contributor Alex Castellanos what questions they would want to ask the man who dominated the headlines during his short time in the White House.
From ABC News Political Director Rick Klein: “At one point in your brief tenure, you said you would ‘fire everybody’ in the White House communications shop to stop leaks. Does that still need to happen?”
Speaking to reporters outside the West Wing at one point in July, Scaramucci explained his plan to cut down on the leaks coming from the White House staff. “I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” he said, “You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re getting fired.
Klein says he would follow up by trying to determine if the problem is localized to the communications shop, posing the question, “Is this really a staff problem, or is it a cultural problem at the White House?”
From ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd: “You said you’re the president’s ‘biggest fan’ but you once called him a ‘hack politician’ and ‘anti-American’ — what changed?”
During an appearance on Fox Business in 2015, Scaramucci called Trump a “hack politician” and said that his comments made during the campaign at that point were “anti-American” and “very, very divisive.”
In his first press briefing after it was announced that he would be taking over as communications director, Scaramucci apologized for the comments he made.
“One of the biggest mistakes that I made because I was an unexperienced person in the world of politics, I was supporting the other candidate,” Scaramucci said. “I should have never said that about him.”
From Republican strategist Alex Castellanos: “We’ve seen good people rise to the highest levels of government and let power go to their head — did your ego get the best of you? Is the president’s ego a problem?”
Just hours after former Homeland Security Secretary Gen. John Kelly was sworn in as White House chief of staff — replacing Reince Priebus — Scaramucci resigned. Sources inside the White House told ABC News that Scaramucci offered his resignation with a request to be redeployed as chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank, to allow Kelly to assert his leadership in the West Wing.
The president selected the four-star general because he felt that his team needed a chief of staff who could help bring order to the West Wing and push his legislative agenda forward, White House officials told ABC News.
“Listen, the president firmly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position, and he didn’t want to burden Gen. Kelly also with that line of succession,” Sanders said the day of Scaramucci’s resignation. “Gen. Kelly has the full authority to operate within the white house and all staff will report to him.”
Sanders added that top aides who previously reported directly to the president, including Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, would now report to Kelly.
From ABC News Political Commentator Cokie Roberts: “Was the White House just a completely different world from anything you had ever experienced?”
From his entrance into the 2016 presidential race down an escalator at Trump Tower to his time in the Oval Office, Trump has shown his presidency will not be all politics as usual. The selection of Scaramucci, a former financier with no communications background, to succeed Sean Spicer, who was informally serving in the role after Mike Dubke stepped down in May, was another choice setting this administration apart from those before it.
Scaramucci’s brief but busy tenure in the White House begs the question: Did the reality of his West Wing role vary from his expectations for it?
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