New ad­viser wants ‘pos­i­tive mojo’

Will re­fo­cus, re­think in­for­ma­tion de­liv­ery, Scara­mucci says

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL - COM­PILED BY DEMO­CRAT-GAZETTE STAFF FROM WIRE RE­PORTS In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by Cather­ine Lucey of The As­so­ci­ated Press and Justin Sink and Robert Sch­midt of Bloomberg News.

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s new com­mu­ni­ca­tions ad­viser says it’s time to hit the “re­set but­ton.”

Ap­pear­ing on Fox News Sun­day, Wall Street fi­nancier An­thony Scara­mucci pledged to be­gin “an era of a new good feel­ing” and said he hopes to “create a more pos­i­tive mojo.” He also promised to crack down on in­for­ma­tion leaks and pledged to bet­ter fo­cus the mes­sage com­ing from the White House.

To that end, Scara­mucci sug­gested changes to come, not­ing: “I have in my pocket a ra­dio stu­dio, a tele­vi­sion stu­dio, and a movie stu­dio. The en­tire world has changed; we need to re­think the way we’re de­liv­er­ing our in­for­ma­tion.”

Trump an­nounced Fri­day that Scara­mucci — a pol­ished tele­vi­sion com­men­ta­tor and Har­vard Law grad­u­ate — would take over the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s top mes­sag­ing job. The ap­point­ment came as the pres­i­dent con­tends with sink­ing ap­proval rat­ings and strug­gles to ad­vance his leg­isla­tive agenda. The pres­i­dent has also been frus­trated with the at­ten­tion de­voted to in­ves­ti­ga­tions of al­le­ga­tions of his elec­tion cam­paign’s con­nec­tions to Rus­sia.

White House Press Sec­re­tary Sean Spicer abruptly re­signed in protest over Scara­mucci’s ap­point­ment. He will be re­placed by his for­mer deputy Sarah Huck­abee San­ders.

The chal­lenges for Scara­mucci’s new role were ev­i­dent in a series of in­ter­views, where he dis­cussed his plans for press strat­egy, but was be­set by ques­tions about the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the pres­i­dent’s Twit­ter feed.

The pres­i­dent fre­quently opts to di­rectly speak to the pub­lic via Twit­ter. Scara­mucci stressed on Fox that he would “let the pres­i­dent be the pres­i­dent,” adding that he wants to “help aid and abet his agenda.”

On the Rus­sia sto­ries, Scara­mucci said on Fox that a “two-pronged ap­proach” was needed, say­ing that “in some ways we want to de-es­ca­late things and have there be a level of diplo­macy. In other ways, we want it to be very hard-hit­ting and war­like.”

Asked about the pres­i­dent’s tweets about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion on CBS’ Face the Na­tion, Scara­mucci said “if he thinks it’s help­ful to him, let him do it.”

He also said on CNN’s State of the Union that “we’re go­ing to de­fend him very, very ag­gres­sively when there’s non­sen­si­cal stuff be­ing said about him. And he will prob­a­bly dial back some of those tweets.”

Scara­mucci also said on CNN that an un­named per­son told him that “if the Rus­sians ac­tu­ally hacked this sit­u­a­tion and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it.”

He then said he was quot­ing the pres­i­dent, adding that “he ba­si­cally said to me, hey, you know, this is — maybe they did it. Maybe they didn’t do it.”

U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have ac­cused the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of med­dling through hack­ing in last year’s elec­tion to ben­e­fit Trump and harm Clin­ton, and author­i­ties are ex­plor­ing po­ten­tial co­or­di­na­tion be­tween Moscow and the Trump cam­paign.

On CNN, Scara­mucci called San­ders “phe­nom­e­nal” and also said he “loved the hair and makeup per­son that we had on Fri­day. So, I would like to con­tinue to use the hair and makeup per­son.”

He later took to Twit­ter to stress that he was re­fer­ring to his own hair and makeup, adding “I need all the help I can get! #hu­mor”

On Satur­day, Scara­mucci said he was delet­ing old tweets. Some of the tweets were at odds with Trump’s views, in­clud­ing one that praised Hil­lary Clin­ton’s com­pe­tence. Trump de­feated Clin­ton for pres­i­dent last year and con­tin­ues to crit­i­cize her, in­clud­ing in sev­eral tweets Satur­day.

Scara­mucci said on Fox that the old tweets were “a to­tal dis­trac­tion.” He added: “When I made the de­ci­sion to take this job, my pol­i­tics and my po­lit­i­cal ideas do not mat­ter at all. What mat­ters is that I am sup­port­ing — sub­or­di­nat­ing all of that to the pres­i­dent’s agenda.”

Among the mis­sives that dis­ap­peared Satur­day were a post re­fer­ring to Trump’s cam­paign as a “spec­ta­cle,” an­other in 2012 im­plor­ing Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton to run for pres­i­dent and a tweet call­ing Trump ally Newt Gin­grich, the for­mer House speaker, an “odd guy.”

Also deleted was a post say­ing he found the num­ber of peo­ple who still be­lieve cli­mate change is a hoax “dis­heart­en­ing,” as well as a tweet ar­gu­ing “walls don’t work” as im­mi­gra­tion tools.

Scara­mucci, 53, also deleted a tweet voic­ing sup­port for “strong gun con­trol laws” that had drawn the ire of a spokesman for the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion, which of­fered the pres­i­dent a key en­dorse­ment dur­ing the cam­paign.

Con­ser­va­tive com­men­ta­tor Dana Loesch, in a post that has been deleted, said she found it “con­cern­ing” that Scara­mucci “has a con­trary po­si­tion” on Sec­ond Amend­ment rights from the pres­i­dent. “You’re talk­ing about some­one re­spon­si­ble for pre­sent­ing Pres­i­dent’s mes­sage to pub­lic,” she said in a sec­ond post that re­mains on the so­cial me­dia net­work.

Scara­mucci said on Fox on Sun­day that he’s “pro-Sec­ond Amend­ment” and that his fa­ther was a hunter. “What I was wor­ried about in 2012, in ur­ban cen­ters, if you don’t have a lit­tle level of gun con­trol, it could lead to more vi­o­lence,” he said.


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