Another hit piece on Mooch from the Washington Examiner, the same outlet that published yesterday’s scoop about Scaramucci allegedly trying to intimidate White House comms staffers when he worked there for five minutes. “Allies have started spreading dirt on Scaramucci in right-wing outlets, and the word has gone out to people in Trump’s orbit to ‘go after him,’” noted Politico in a story about the Trump/Mooch feud this morning, naming the Examiner as an example.
Regardless, this new scoop is a clean hit on Scaramucci’s motives, assuming everything in it is accurate. Mooch claimed in his op-ed for WaPo earlier this week that “the final straw” for him in breaking with Trump was POTUS’s “go back where you came from” attack on the Squad on Twitter. It’s true that Scaramucci criticized Trump for that afterward, even earning himself a disinvitation from a GOP fundraiser in Florida for doing so.
But Trump’s tweets about the Squad happened on July 14. According to the Examiner, Scaramucci was hosting Donald Trump Jr as the guest of honor at a promotional dinner for his business on … July 30. If Mooch could no longer in good conscience support the president, what was he doing leveraging his Trump connections to make a buck weeks later?
The dinner at the Scaramucci co-owned Hunt & Fish Club near Times Square happened July 30. The financier, fired after 11 days at the White House in 2017, invited Trump Jr. to be the guest of honor at a monthly gathering for another business he co-owns, Strategic Worldviews, launched this year with partner Robert Wolf, an Obama administration adviser…
“Mooch was nothing but deferential … It’s just weird, what in two weeks changed?” said another source.
Scaramucci said to Trump Jr. that “we should put together a couple fundraisers” for the 2020 Trump reelection campaign, according to a third source. He declined to comment through a spokeswoman, including on the claim that he offered to host fundraisers for Trump’s reelection…
“You don’t go from offering to host fundraisers to ‘this guy has gotta go’ in 10 days. Not if you’re sincere,” they said.
Politico didn’t provide details in its story but it too has heard of recent chumminess between Scaramucci and Trump Jr: “As recently as two weeks ago, one person close to the White House said, Scaramucci was with Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and a few other people and talking about fundraisers he was planning to set up for the reelection campaign.” If that’s accurate it makes the timeline even more suspicious. Two weeks ago was August 7; Scaramucci’s apparent final break with Trump came in the days immediately following that, when he criticized his goodwill visits to El Paso and Dayton as a “catastrophe.” If you believe Politico, Mooch went from fundraiser mode to essentially off the Trump train in the span of 72 hours or so.
What the hell happened? Did he and Don Jr have a falling out? Did Scaramucci sincerely have some crisis of conscience that made him turn a dime? Because, superficially, he doesn’t strike me as a “crisis of conscience” kind of guy.
Maybe it’s a pride thing. This was Trump’s first shot at Scaramucci in all of this, I believe. Note the date:
…..other than the fact that this Administration has probably done more than any other Administration in its first 2 1/2 years of existence. Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2019
Mooch might have thought Trump would tolerate his occasional jabs over El Paso and the Squad so long as he remained on the team and committed to working for Trump’s reelection. But then Trump surprised him by slapping him on Twitter, forcing Scaramucci to either fight or bow and scrape. His pride wounded, he chose to fight and has since gone all-in on punching back as the feud has escalated.
Although there are other theories, of course. Again, Politico:
Some whisper that Scaramucci may be doing this as a publicity stunt to keep himself in the news to get his wife, Deidre, a slot on “The Real Housewives of New York City.” She said on the couple’s joint podcast, “Mooch and the Mrs,” in June: “I can’t get into too much detail, but I’d love to do the show if they really wanted me to do the show. But right now we’re just sitting here, waiting, and I’ll let you guys know.”
Others speculate that Scaramucci, a wealthy entrepreneur who sometimes visits the Hamptons in the summer, might be doing this is to ingratiate himself back into New York society circles.
Self-promotion is always the Occam’s Razor explanation for behavior in TrumpWorld, I think. One mystery in all this, though: Why hasn’t Don Jr called Scaramucci out about the dinner he attended last month? A search of Twitter reveals nothing recent about “Scaramucci” or “Mooch” in Trump Jr’s Twitter account. You’d expect Don to have said something like, “Mooch begged me to promote this business a few weeks ago, and I graciously agreed. So much for him having a moral problem with the Trumps!” But he hasn’t done that. Why not?