Right from the beginning of host Chris Cuomo’s interview with the short-lived former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci, the latter struck a combative stance.
Discussing news that President Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon had resigned from Breitbart News, “The Mooch” claimed he wanted to “start with some facts first,” taking issue with Cuomo’s assertion that Bannon’s alt-right base elected the president.
“I don’t think [Trump] hired [Bannon] because of what you said, related to the base,” Scaramucci said. “I think he hired him because he was looking for a slight shift in direction in the strategy.”
After a segue about Trump also hiring Kellyanne Conway around the same time as Bannon in 2016, the interview went progressively downhill.
Scaramucci claimed he wanted to add a “little bit of a clarification” for Cuomo’s viewers, attempting to “fact-check” the host’s stance on Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign by claiming his base had already been in place and “helped him win against 17 other candidates in the Republican primary.”
“Very little, actually, it’s more of a distinction,” the host quipped.
The Mooch proceeded to offer back-handed praise for Bannon, saying that he helped “raise the profile” Breitbart despite it being “not a super-profitable place” after the death of its founder. Ultimately, he ended up praising himself.
“I wanna be fair to him, but I also wanna be accurate,” he said, “because of the things that, you know, I did a reasonably good job of starting two companies from scratch, selling them both, is evaluating talent.”
Despite a lack of pushback from the host, Scaramucci would not let up his dissent on the idea that Bannon’s Breitbart clout was a key part of Trump’s appeal and base.
“I think Bannon’s sell to the president, that ‘I understand these people, they come to me through Breitbart, I’ve been working with them and selling things to them, message wise, you need me,’ worked,” Cuomo countered. “[Trump] was vulnerable, unsure of his team around him. Bannon gave him a confidence. He brought him in, he won, he brought him closer.”
“I’m gonna disagree with that because I was there,” The Mooch responded. “I don’t think the president saw it that way — that could be your analysis.”