Anthony Scaramucci is only on Day Three as White House communications director but he has already cast in doubt official White House talking points about Trump’s desire to grant pardons to himself and others in the Russia scandal.
As Raw Story explains, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow was on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning where he was asked about Trump’s Tweet yesterday boasting that “all agree” he has “complete power to pardon.” The Tweet followed a Washington Post report on Friday that Trump’s lawyers have been “discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons.” Sekulow insisted pardons have not been discussed (my emphases added):
“I want to be clear on this, we have not, and continue to have not, conversations with the President of the United States regarding pardons,” Sekulow said. “Pardons have not been discussed and pardons are not on the table.”
“We’re not researching the issue, because the issue of pardons is not on the table. There is nothing to pardon from.”
But also today, Scaramucci told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that Trump has been talking about pardons. From the transcript:
WALLACE: Question: if he and his people have done nothing wrong, why even talk about pardons?
SCARAMUCCI: See, this is one -- again, this is one of those things about Washington and it’s the convolution and the nature of the things. I’m in the Oval Office with the president last week, we’re talking about that. He brought that up, he said but he doesn’t have to be pardoned. There’s nobody around him that has to be pardoned. He was just making the statement about the power of pardons.
And so, now, all of the speculation and all the spin and oh, he’s going to pardon himself and do all this other nonsense -- the president does not need to pardon himself.
Of course, it’s possible Trump talked pardons with Scaramucci and not with his attorneys, though it seems highly unlikely. Regardless, this shows that even with a new communications director, the Trump White House messaging is still chaotic.
Watch Sekulow and Scaramucci contradict each other below, from the July 23, 2017 This Week with George Stephanopoulos and Fox News Sunday, respectively.
Saw KellyAnn on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday and it took over an hour to get my jaw back in the proper place. Sheeeeeeeeeeeshhhhhhh. Stelter had difficulty getting a word in edgewise, mostly because he was too courteous to persist in fact-checking. He wants KellyAnn to come back (and so do I … Like Trump, she’s her own worst enemy).