Scaramucci: I ‘Disagree’ With WH Banning CNN Reporter, Having a War with the Press Hurts Trump

PAM KEY

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said the White House made a mistake by barring CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from a White House event for asking Donald Trump “inappropriate” questions.

Scaramucci said, “Listen, I think — I don’t know this for a fact, that probably came from the president. He likes to be respected. He was probably frustrated at that moment. What I would do in a situation like that, I’d pull a tape of questions that Sam Donaldson screamed at Ronald Reagan and go right through the last 30 years of pool reporters asking questions that presidents probably think are obnoxious or untoward or disrespectful questions and just point out that she was doing her job. So I understand that she was put in the penalty box. I would certainly recommend to my former colleagues that you take her out of the penalty box. I’ve said this consistently, and I will continue to say this to anybody who listens, having a war declaration or having that level of antagonism with the president does not help the president, does not serve his interests going into the midterms or the elections. I understand the frustration, and I understand his personality where he likes to punch back and be combative. What I think that also does, and I  think you’ll agree with me, it galvanizes the president vis-a-vis the White House. I was watching one of the press conferences where I think it was a gentleman from Politico yielded to the woman from NBC. So what you’re doing is you’re starting to galvanize people against the White House, and it’s a collective which I think is not in the best interest of the president. So, one, I don’t like that decision. Number two, it probably came from the president himself.”

He continued, “So you sort of can’t — when you’re getting told by the president to do a, b and c and you’re sitting there saying, well, it may not be the best idea. I’m sure these people have strong enough personalities where they would tell him, ‘look, it’s not the best idea.’ But he probably wanted them to do it anyway. But I disagree with it, and I’m happy to talk about it. I’m happy to explain why. I think the best people around the president will always give him constructive coaching, criticism. Look, this is not in your best interest, long-term, removing Kaitlan from the pool, putting her in the penalty box, you’re not getting the desired outcome. What is the desired outcome that people don’t ask you those questions? Guess what? The First Amendment gives these reporters the right to do that. By the way, your predecessors, many of which you respected, take a look at the tape. This is what reporters have been doing for 30 or 40 years.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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