Losing your job in a fit of self-immolation after a mere ten days may seem like the type of professional stumble that doesn’t lend itself to a comeback. But Anthony Scaramucci, a.k.a. the Mooch, appears to be positioning himself to give politics another go.
The former White House communications director has privately told friends and associates that the president and other members of the Trump family, including White House adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, miss him and want him back in the West Wing. Three sources close to Scaramucci have independently told The Daily Beast that the Mooch continues to brag that he and President Donald Trump talk on the phone, and that the Mooch believes his resurrection in Trump-world could be imminent. One of these sources said that the Mooch claimed he was flying out to either Washington, D.C. or Mar-a-Lago early this month to meet Trump to talk about it.
There are several major hurdles the Mooch must clear before all systems are a go. Most serious among them: Trump himself doesn’t appear to be on board. In fact, it’s not clear if President Trump, or Ivanka, is even in touch with the sacked comms director.
Virtually no one in or outside of the Trump White House who The Daily Beast contacted for this story believed the Mooch’s claims. This included several of the Mooch’s friends and also Trump aides.
“It would amaze and shock me if the president still talks to [Scaramucci] or is considering re-hiring him after what happened,” one senior White House official said. “And that is coming from someone who works in a place where nothing surprises me anymore.”
The White House press office did not respond to requests for comment on this. Scaramucci, for his part, denied that he’s been telling people at all about a Trump administration resuscitation.
“[T]his is absolute nonsense,” he said in text messages to The Daily Beast. “Happy new year [and] be well. I have said nothing like that at all…Don’t believe BS.”
Laura Goldman, a friend of Scaramucci's, told The Daily Beast that she's been in touch with him and that while he does "still speak to both President Trump and Ivanka" he doesn't have plans to return to the administration.
"His future plans are exciting and offer an extremely lucrative payday," Goldman added. "They will launch Anthony in a different career. Stay tuned for a January announcement."
Trump does have a habit of staying in contact with—and even relying on—advisers whom he has fired. Long after Corey Lewandowski kicked off the 2016 team, the former campaign manager still visits the White House and regularly dishes out advice to the president. Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon was deposed in August—and yet he still often advises his former boss on the phone and remains a top outside advocate.
But the extent of Mooch’s flameout as communications director continues to rankle Trump aides. And few, if any, inside the West Wing seem eager to risk a repeat of that drama.
A hedge-fund millionaire and former member of the Trump presidential transition team, Mooch was booted from the administration in late July after just a week and a half. During his stint, however, he managed to facilitate the departure of then Press Secretary Sean Spicer, publicly contradicted Trump’s own legal team, vowed a brutal staff purge, leaked news that he was firing a White House spokesman before he even told said spokesman (only to turn around and bizarrely denounce his own leak, pretending he didn’t do it), outed the president on live TV as a source, potentially worsened relations between the FBI and the Trump White House, accused then Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of a felony, and accidentally went on-record with The New Yorker for an interview in which he called Priebus a “fucking paranoid schizophrenic” and accused Bannon of “trying to suck [his] own cock.” (This was all in the time that President Trump had specifically green-lighted the Mooch’s campaign to go after Priebus to hound him out of the administration, as The Daily Beast previously reported.)
It was a wild run. Too wild, in fact, even for Trump. Shortly after the unhinged New Yorker interview published online, the president began polling aides in the White House, inquiring about the Mooch’s mental state during the interview.
“Is he on drugs?” Trump earnestly asked those around him, according to two White House officials and another Trump confidant.
Though the president himself has had a penchant for vulgar rants, insults, and comments, the Mooch’s performance was, according to NBC News, noticeably off-putting to him, and especially to Ivanka Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who were reportedly “offended” and “disgusted.”
Days after Trump wondered what chemicals the Mooch was on, Scaramucci was officially canned.
In his post-White House career, Mooch has positioned himself strategically to win back some political and media cred. He embraced his status as a national punchline, did the media rounds, and launched “The Scaramucci Post.” Billed as a news and commentary outlet, The Post hasn’t gotten off the ground except in establishing a Twitter account that often tweets links to articles at actual news sites. The one time it did make news was for all the wrong reasons: running a Twitter poll asking, "How many Jews were killed during the Holocaust?"
Recently, the Mooch has been making the rounds as an unofficial surrogate for Trump on cable TV. He’s even tried to publicly repair the bridges he burned with other members of the Trump orbit, including with Bannon.
“As it relates to Steve [Bannon], I always got on with Steve,” Scaramucci told CNN host Dana Bash in a State of the Union interview that aired Sunday. “I guess there was a situation where he thought it was important for him to diverge with me [and] that’s fine, it is nothing personal for me. Steve and I, actually on a lot of the ideological areas, are quite similar. I think he’s a great writer and has been by and large a force for good, but there are certain things that he does that I don’t like.”
With reporting by Sam Stein