New White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci captured most of the headlines from the Sunday talk shows. Among other things, he rejected the idea that President Trump is considering pardons and defended his own move to delete old tweets in which he was critical of Trump. Details:
- Pardons: "The president is thinking about pardoning nobody," he said on CNN, adding that Trump "is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russian thing is a nonsensical thing." (Trump tweeted about the power of presidential pardons on Saturday.)
- Pardons, take II: Trump attorney Jay Sekulow also dismissed the idea of pardon discussions, per the Hill. “We have not and I continue to not have conversations with the president of the United States about pardons,” he said on ABC's This Week.
- Not convinced: Scaramucci said Trump is still not convinced Russia interfered in the election. "He basically said to me, 'Hey you know, this is, maybe they did it, maybe they didn't do it.'" He also said he was speaking with somebody recently who asserted that if the Russians did indeed meddle, they would leave behind no evidence of it. Upon questioning, he told Jake Tapper the person who said that was, in fact, Trump, per Politico.
- Deleting tweets: Earlier over the weekend, Scaramucci deleted old tweets critical of Trump, explaining that "past views evolved & shouldn't be a distraction." The Hill notes that Scaramucci also publicly apologized to Trump on Friday.
- Moving on: "If I said some things about [Trump] when I was working for another candidate, Mr. Trump, Mr. President, I apologize for that. Can we move on off of that?" he said Sunday.
- Old column: One piece of criticism gaining attention is a 2016 column Scaramucci wrote for Fox Business in which he warned about "unbridled demagoguery" taking over the GOP. He did not, however, mention Trump by name in the column.
- Maureen Dowd: In her New York Times column, Dowd describes Scaramucci as a "wealthy mini-me Manhattan bro" who has much in common with Trump, including a big ego. But she says the hire won't solve the president's big problem, that being the "existential threat" posed by special investigator Robert Mueller. Trump, she writes, doesn't get that Mueller is not some "contractor" he can bully and intimidate.
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