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It wasn’t Anthony Scaramucci’s first visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel. Indeed, as one of the favorite West Coast haunts of his former boss of 11 days, President Donald Trump, Scaramucci had visited the so-called “Pink Palace” many times with the businessman/reality star turned polarizing chief executive. By his account, Trump was warmly welcomed “by the people he’d known here — the hotel security, the hotel valets.” He adds, “He’s a fun guy. The president’s a fun guy.”
On Tuesday, though, it was Scaramucci who was the center of attention at the Polo Lounge’s Private Salon, secreted off the lushly vegetated pathways near the hotel’s bungalows — although his ex-employer’s specter continued to loom large: The occasion was a party in honor of Scaramucci’s new book, Trump: The Blue Collar President, which chronicles the former White House communications director’s brief but bombastic stint as Trump’s press spokesman and details Scaramucci’s theories as to why a man born of wealth and privilege captured the votes of much of the working-class electorate.
In solidly blue Beverly Hills, Scaramucci managed to lure a respectable array of well-wishers to his fete, including a smattering of celebrities from across the political spectrum that included TV host Bill Maher (who recently had the author on his HBO series Real Time), actor and singer Frank Stallone, recording artist Pat Boone and celebrity sexual health expert Dr. Drew Pinsky. Amid the around 50 attendees, introductory phrases like “He works for Peter Thiel” were not uncommon.
Scaramucci’s slickness at the event ran counter to the limelight-stealing, attack-dog persona the financier and political consultant adopted during his short-lived stint as Trump’s press surrogate, and he admitted he was pleased with his own crowd size that night. “It’s been better than I expected — in fact, there’s like a bipartisan community here,” he noted, pointing at a nearby guest awaiting an autograph on his book, “like this gentleman, who will remain nameless, is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, but he happens to love me personally, so he’s stuck at my party.
“But there’s a culture out here, unfortunately, where if you have different political opinions, unfortunately you’re sort of shunned or you’re left out of certain reindeer games,” he added, pointing to his wife, Deidre, with whom he recently reconciled after political and personal turmoil threatened to end their marriage. “My wife and I are doing a podcast together. She’s a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. I’m obviously more of a conservative, although very liberal on social issues, and we just think it’s important to build a bridge and get people to start talking to each other again, so I’m happy that I’m here.”
With his book now joining a growing library of inside-the-Trump-administration titles, albeit with a more sympathetic bent than most, Scaramucci reveals he’s willing to go a little Hollywood, if Hollywood will have him.
“I’ve had some conversations, television related, but I don’t know if any will pan out,” he said. “The fact of the matter is I am a Trump supporter, and so I think that’s probably a big roadblock or a stumbling block in Hollywood.” But he believes he’s rebounding soundly from his short but loud White House tenure. “I wrote a very passionate chapter on how to dust yourself off and bounce like a superball. When you hit the ground, you never want to hit the ground like bone China.”
Pinksy told THR that he’s grown fond of Scaramucci due to their frequent professional association. “The Mooch has been on my radio show very, very regularly and I’ve been entertained by him, fascinated by him,” he said. “I think his story is sort of a strangely American story, and he’s a bright guy that’s doing a lot of interesting things. … He has information and points of view you can’t get from anybody else.”
In fact, Pinksy admits he’s been more enthralled by Scaramucci’s insider stories than his politics.” I don’t think I’ve ever had a political discussion with him, per se,” he admitted. “I think maybe that’s some of his disarming charm, it’s how interesting his stories are. I don’t know if I would thoroughly disagree with him or not.”
Two years into Trump’s stint in the Oval Office and a year and a half after his own dismissal, Scaramucci says he still stands by the president, for the most part. “I view myself as an objective Trump supporter,” he said. “My attitude is: If you’re a sycophant, that’s close to the words ‘selfishness’ and ‘self-preservation’ and ‘self-survival.’ If you’re loyal, I think that’s more akin to being honest. And so for me, I view myself as an honest but loyal supporter of the president.”
He lists a roster of differences he’s had with Trump: “I broke from the child-separation issue. I wanted the flag lowered for John McCain. I don’t think we should be declaring a war with the media,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean because there are micro-issues or even macro-issues that I’ve disavowed my support of him. I think smart people can have intellectual disagreements and still get along and still support each other, and that’s what I try to do for the president.”
And Trump has remained in regular contact with Scaramucci. “I talked to him on Saturday morning: He was critiquing my Bill Maher performance on Friday night,” he revealed. “He loved it. He said, ‘You know, you were trying to explain to them what I’m doing, and they didn’t want to listen, and then you said, ‘OK, after he beats you again, I’ll come back and explain it.'”
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