SkyBridge Founder and Managing Partner and Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci joins the On the Move panel to discuss what to expect from the upcoming presidential election.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Anthony Scaramucci, SkyBridge founder and managing partner. He's also former White House communications director. It's good to see you again. May I call you Mooch, Anthony? I think most people do.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: I've been called a lot worse than that, you know, Adam. So I take that as a compliment.
ADAM SHAPIRO: What is the takeaway, do you think, for the voting public about this inconsistent message we're getting from doctors about the president's health?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, I mean, it's the president's reality distortion field meeting with science once again. And so his doctors obviously did not tell the truth any more than they told the truth about his visit to Walter Reed Hospital almost a year ago now where they said it was a partial to his full physical. So it's unfortunate.
Because what it does is it creates a lot of this energy that Rick is describing. If he doesn't leave the hospital today by 1:00, 2 o'clock in the afternoon, people will be like, well, why did you guys say that when it's not true?
And then you have Mark Meadows, who is thinking about his reputation and his long-term career. And he's trying to tell the truth. And they're trying to silence him. And now, of course, you have the press secretary came down with COVID-19. And my heart goes out to her. Because she's got a young child at home.
And so it's irresponsible stuff. The president put a tremendous amount of people in harm's way because of this reality-distortion field that he wants people to abide by. It's almost like being at the lunch table with a middle-school bully. And he's telling you, well, you can't sit at the lunch table with me unless you abide by my rules. And everybody at the table knows those rules are going to hurt them. But they sit there anyway.
JULIE HYMAN: Anthony, it's Julie. It's good to see you. This has been the case for a while, right, although, now, we're talking physical harm, not just necessarily reputational harm, for example. You jumped ship, so to speak, from being a supporter of the president, what, a little more than a year ago now, I think it was. And you have talked about that you thought he was going to go down in various ways since then.
You've also-- you've been not very common in terms of Republicans no longer supporting the president. Is any of that starting to erode as people around him are getting sick.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, when I first started speaking about how crazy President Trump actually is, a lot of the GOP said you're a kamikaze, stop saying that. And then I said, well, you know he's crazy. Well, I know he's crazy, but he's going to win again. That's was the standard operating procedure. And he was at the highest poll numbers back in July of 2019 when I disavowed my support of him.
What I got wrong is I thought that there was enough smart, patriotic people in the Republican Party that would have jettisoned him as a result of that impeachment. I said to you guys back, last summer, it's Trump-noble. He's melting down at the core. There will either be a clean up or a cover up. And I predicted that there would be a clean up. I got that wrong and a result of which now it's having devastating consequences on the Republican Party.
Mitch McConnell is telling people privately that he thinks Trump is going to lose the election. But he's now just trying to figure out a way if he can hold on to the Senate. The fundraising, the donor community is completely sour, embittered. They don't even know where the money is for part of the money that they gave the campaign. So you've got people at the Congress that are upset, staff at the Congress, staff inside the White House, the Secret Service. I mean, he has created a tornado of a disaster for the American people. And it's now starting to come home. And it's affecting him physically.
And listen, I wish him well. But he is better suited to be a greeter at Mar a Lago than he is to be the actual president of United States. And so we got to get him in that job as quickly as possible. And so I'm going to be working tirelessly over the next 28 days to do that.
RICK NEWMAN: Hey, Anthony, assuming Trump does recover and leave the hospital before election day, what do you think he's likely to do to keep his campaign going, just more of the same? Or does he have-- do you think they will change their messaging somehow? Or what?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think he was indicating yesterday with that video that he's going to change his message. He's now gone to the school of COVID. We had 209,000 people die. And everyone tried to tell him what to do. And he disavowed epidemiology and science. But now, he's going to say, I've gone to the school of COVID. And his message will be something ridiculous and egocentric like, only I can fix the COVID-19 crisis. And so it's-- once again, his bumper sticker this time is that I'm here to save you from Donald-- my name is Donald Trump, and I'm here to save you from Donald Trump's America.
And so he's made the country weaker. He's made the country sicker and poorer as a result of the mismanagement of the executive branch of the White House. And so I'm hoping and praying that we can send him home so we can begin the process of healing the country ourselves. In addition to him needing to get better, we as a country also need to get better.
- Hey, Anthony, it's Julia. Great to be with you again. I want to talk about markets. In your role at SkyBridge, you have the pulse of the hedge-fund community. I know you talk to a lot of big name investors. And at the top of the show, Rick made a point that it seems the markets are making peace with a Joe Biden presidency. Would love to unpack the market scenario for you. And in your conversations with various hedge-fund managers, are you hearing anything that might actually be at odds with what you're anticipating for the markets?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, I mean, there are hedge fund managers that believe Donald Trump is better for the economy. And that does show up in the polling. He's still up ahead of Vice President Biden. But I think this is very similar to 2008 into 2009 where the Bush administration was transferring over to the Obama administration. It didn't really have a big impact on the economy, primarily because of Federal Reserve policy. So I don't see the Federal Reserve changing course.
Joe Biden is a moderate. I predict that he'll have a moderate treasury secretary that will adhere to more or less the same things that Secretary Mnuchin is doing. And I think-- you know, I think Rick's making a statement about the market that I actually agree with. The market is basically indifferent to the idea of the next administration. And I do think some of the smarter, more sophisticated hedge-fund managers that I talk to, they believe that a return to normalcy and start of dialing off of the presidency as being in a permanent 24/7 news cycle will be good for everybody. And it'll be good long term for the economy. Maybe bad for ratings on Yahoo Finance and some of these other networks. But it'll be good for people in general, and healthy.
JULIE HYMAN: Anthony, I want to dig a little bit more into this. Because we did see the last election cycle that, for lack of a better term, rich people supported President Trump because they thought he would be better-- forget about the broader economy for a minute, right? He would be good for them personally, in terms of taxes, in terms of their stock holdings. And in many cases, they haven't been wrong. So I guess the question is what makes you think that they're going to weight things differently this time, you know, given that he's still sort of putting himself forward as the person who's going to do that for them?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, let's stipulate that every rich person in the country votes for him, it's still not enough to win the presidency. And I get the point that you're making. But I do think that there's a higher order of principle here for most people. And for myself, I would put my patriotism way above my partisanship. Some of these guys in the Congress obviously wouldn't do that. They put their personal power and their partisanship ahead of the country.
But we just have to stop and look at the nonsense that's going on. And I said to one of my kids, if the window's open, and you hear a clippity-clop, it is a horse, it's not a zebra. Go look at the president's actions. He acts like a crazy person, OK? So a result of which, he's destabilizing our alliances. He's making us weaker. He's made us poorer economically. Because he so woefully mishandled the COVID-19 crises. The economy's in the steepest recession since the Great Depression.
And so we're weaker. We're sicker-- because he's lying about the science. He's lying about-- the politicization of masks, and all this other nonsense. And we're poorer, weaker, sicker, poorer. I think it's time for a change. And I do think that a lot of rich people, even if, on the margin, they perceive President Trump to be better for their tax bill or their stock portfolio, are going to vote him out of office. Because they recognize how crazy he actually is.
ADAM SHAPIRO: You know, some people may forget or not know that you're also a lawyer, Harvard Law-- I know two of the people who were in your class, actually. But I'm curious. We're going to talk about the impact of all this on the markets in just a minute with our next guest. But what do you think the legal fight might be? Or is that abating? That concern we had before the COVID acknowledgment of the president's diagnosis, there was this whole furor over they're going to legally challenge the outcome of this election.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, again, if it was a close election, I think that they would try to do that. But I see the president as a paper tiger. He's a conflict avoider. And he's ultimately a keyboard warrior coward. He'll come after you on Twitter. But he couldn't even confront Chris Wallace. I take you back to that summer interview. Chris posted up some of the tweets, the nasty tweets, that President Trump elucidated at him. And then, of course, the president said, oh, no, you're a great journalist just like your father.
This guy is basically a conflict avoider. He's going to get humiliated in this election. And he's going to slink away. There's not going to be a challenge in the court system. You know, the thing about the COVID-19, which is so fascinating, he's paid no taxes. Who pays the same amount year over year, $750 in taxes? We're not even talking about that story anymore.
And so, yeah, you got a lot of stuff going on underneath the surface. I thought you-- you were referring to a legal challenge. I thought you were talking about the potential indictments of the Trump Organization here in New York or some of the nefarious behavior that's going on in the campaign in terms of, where is the money, by the way. And you see some of the actors in the campaign act as crazy as the president.
So we'll have to see. To quote the president, we'll have to see what happens. But I predict he loses. And what Rick said at the early part of the show, it's not going to matter to the markets. The markets will shrug that off. And I think most people around the world will be relieved.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Anthony Scaramucci, you've set up our next guest. So thank you very much. Good to have you here.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Good to be here.
ADAM SHAPIRO: SkyBridge founder and managing partner, also former White House communications director, and a friend.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Next time, I'm going to have more caffeine, Adam, so I'm a little bit more energized for the conversation, OK? Promise you.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Chock full o'Nuts, a pot every day. OK, Mooch, all the best to you.