Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said President Donald Trump needed to more explicitly condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
In Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed in riots that turned deadly, resulting in three deaths and several injuries.
Trump said at a press conference that, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides." Republicans and Democrats immediately criticized Trump's lackluster condemnation.
"I wouldn't have recommended that statement, I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that," Scaramucci said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.
Scaramucci — who held the top White House communications job for just 11 days — urged current administration officials to directly disagree with Trump if he's wrong, but hypothesized that the president responded in that way because he "likes doing the opposite of what the media thinks he's going to do," and he is "of the impression that there is hatred on all sides."
He also called on Trump to distance himself from top adviser Steve Bannon, the divisive former head of Breitbart News who Scaramucci argued was pulling Trump too far to the right and was "not serving the president's interest."
"You also got this sort of Bannon-bart influence in there, which I think is a snag on the president," Scaramucci said. "If the president really wants to execute that legislative agenda that I think is so promising for the American people, the lower-middle class people and the middle class people, then he has to move away from that sort of Bannon-bart nonsense."
He continued: "He's got to move more into the mainstream, he's got to be more into where the moderates are and the independents are that love the president. And so if he does that, he'll have a very successful legislative agenda that he'll be able to execute. And if he doesn't do that, you're going to see inertia and you're going to see this resistance from more of the establishment senators that he needs to curry favor with."
Scaramucci's appearance on "This Week" was his first major public interview since being fired last month after launching into a profanity-laced rant on a call with New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza.
Watch a clip via ABC:
Scaramucci wouldn't have recommended Trump Charlottesville statement, "He needed to be much harsher as it related to white supremacists." pic.twitter.com/l5cbwUF63c— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 13, 2017
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