Deep Inside the Mind of Donald Trump


Newco Shift Forum 2018

John Heilemann’s no holds barred interview with Anthony Scaramucci covers, well, just about everything you’d want it to.

Anthony Scaramucci with John Heilemann during NewCo Shift Forum 2018

One of most controversial figures to emerge from Trump’s ascendance to the White House is Anthony Scaramucci, whose brief tenure as White House Communications Director provided fodder for months of late night punchlines. But Scaramucci has known Trump for more than two decades, and in this unvarnished, on the record interview with storied political journalist John Heilemann, “the Mooch” offers fascinating insights into Trump the man, Trump the leader, and Trump the political operator. This is riveting political fare, folks. And while the Shift Forum is held under Chatham House Rule, Scaramucci thankfully waived that privilege so we can all take a peek behind the curtains of power. Enjoy.

John Heilemann: Mr. Scaramucci, it’s good to see you. Last night we had Chris Christie at dinner. I was going to try to get him to attack you. I did not, just as a matter of pure courtesy.

Anthony Scaramucci: He was going to attack me?

No, I said I was going to try to get him to attack you. He might not have, maybe it would have been…

He wouldn’t be the first person to attack me…

Yes, I was going to say you’ve been attacked by several people. I want to ask you just as a starting point. Explain to this audience your relationship with Donald Trump. How long that goes back? How you know him? Then we’ll talk about some politics and policy in your life.

I don’t want to exaggerate the relationship. I met him 21 years ago. I was working at Goldman Sachs at the time. The partner in charge of the real estate area had a relationship with Mr. Trump at that time. When I met him, I was probably 32, 33 years old, very impressionable, read “The Art of the Deal.”

He was, in New York community, a larger-than-life figure, so he probably has no recollection of meeting me then, but we did work on a couple of projects for him at Goldman. Didn’t see him for 15 years, and then ran into him during the Governor Romney campaign.

We did two fundraisers in his triplex apartment in Trump Tower. I worked on those. We developed a rapport. A couple of Yankee games together, spent some time with him in his office. I can remember this like it was yesterday. It was the morning after The Apprentice.

I was scheduled to have breakfast with him. I went to Trump Tower, 26th floor. “Hey, Mooch. I was great on The Apprentice last night.” Of course, I didn’t see it. I was like, “Oh, yeah, yeah. You were great.”

“Yeah, the ratings were unbelievable.” That’s classically him. He said, “But I’m done now with television. I’m gonna go run for president.” I literally laughed. I said, “You’re not running for president.”

He said, “No, no, no. I’m running for president. I’ve hired this guy, Corey Lewandowski. I’ve got Sam Nunberg downstairs, Roger Stone’s my political consultant, and I’m running for president. That’s the last time I’m gonna do The Apprentice.”

I looked at him and I said, “OK, this is another publicity stunt. There’s no way you’re doing this.” I said, “Why would you even want to do that?” I said, “I’ve been to your apartment. It’s 19,000 square feet. The White House residence is like five or six thousand square feet.”

I said, “I’ve been on your plane. Your plane’s magnificent. Why do you want to carry the press around on your plane?” I said, “You’re not gonna do this and this.”

He said he’s going to do it. I said, “I’m already tied into Governor Walker. He wanted me to come work for him.” I said, “I’m already tied into Governor Walker,” and then he said, “After I kill Walker, will you come work for me?”

I said, “Well, all my clients are with Jeb Bush.” I said, “So I’m going to go work for Jeb Bush.” Then he said, “After I kill Jeb Bush and Governor Walker, will you come work for me?” I said yes. That’s the whole relationship.

“I had the name recognition of Melania and Ivanka, and I didn’t have to be the president’s wife or daughter. I think it worked out.”

You from the very beginning, you wanted to go into the administration. Once President-elect Trump won, you had your eyes set on getting to Washington and having a big job, right?

That’s actually not true. It’s just interesting what happens in Washington. They have almost like it was a prism and a kaleidoscope. What they try to do to you is they put you in the prism. If the prism’s not working, then they start with the kaleidoscope. What they try to do is they need to disfigure you, particularly if they don’t want you around. Let me just…

Take it away from Washington, though. My sense was that you were interested in public service when the President won.

Not really actually. I was the accidental public servant. Let’s say Jeb Bush had won the nomination. I would have been one of the Republican Party donors that would have gotten like a citation or a ticket to the Inaugural. If I really pushed it, I could have probably been an ambassador, which I have no interest in.

What happened with candidate Trump is that literally there was an evacuation of the entire establishment from candidate Trump. Guys like me got sucked up into that vacuum. I’m on television trying to help him out. Then he’s calling me saying, “Hey, you’re pretty good on TV. Let’s put him out there.”

If there were the other 1,000 establishment Republicans that were more senior than me, more experienced than me — frankly, in some ways, a lot more capable than me — they would have been in that space. They were not there. I got sucked up into that vortex. You see what I’m saying?


Now he wins. It’s the Wednesday after the election. It’s 11 o’clock in the morning. None of us had slept. He turns to me and says, “Hey, you know, you’ve got to come work with me.” I had not really thought about coming to work with him. Then on that Friday, he named his executive transition team, of which I was one of 16 people on it.

The conversation started about what role could you have inside the administration. By the way, you know I’m on the record and I’ll talk very frankly. That caused major tension and a major strain in my personal relationship with my wife. The good news is we’ve reconciled. We’re moving forward. Maybe people in this room never had problems in their personal relationships.

I had a severe problem related to the combination of the politics, the business and the interconnectivity with that. Frankly, I had the wrong guidance system going at that time. I should have recognized that there were people like Reince Priebus that did not want me anywhere near the administration. Even though they give you like the Howdy Doody wave. They act like Richie Cunningham. They’re basically Sith Lords. You guys know that. Most of you guys are from Russia.


I should have realized that that wasn’t the right thing for me. I didn’t really want to do it in the beginning. Once I got sucked into it, then you get very competitive. Then you really want to do it. When the guy’s blocking you, then you’re out to kill the guy.

Right, so OK…

I knocked him into Pennsylvania…

Some people in this audience…

I left with him, but I knocked him into Pennsylvania Avenue.

I was going to say, some people in this audience are familiar with that kind of dynamic. I want to talk about a bunch of stuff that relates to substance. Because of your brief and colorful tenure, when you had a job in the White House…

It was 11 days. Don’t say 10, because it hurts my feelings.

I said tenure. I said brief and colorful tenure.


Oh, OK. It was when I hear the 10, it gets me upset.

Tenure. No, I didn’t want to…

You said 10 your. I was thinking you’re saying 10 days.

When you’re only talking about a 10…

I was there for 11 days. I want full credit for the whole thing. I can math…


I wouldn’t want to cut you off by nine percent.

By the way, John, it was 954,000 seconds. Me and my therapist think about it that way. It helps me, but go ahead.


I don’t want to overly complicate it. The President of the United States wanted you in that job. That’s why you were there.

No, no, let’s start. The President of the United States wanted me in the Office of Public Liaison. The job I got on January 12, 2017, written letter from the President-elect of the United States, he wanted me in that job. You know that job. That was Valerie Jarrett’s job for President Obama.

That was a networking job, handling corporate CEOs, handling intergovernmental affairs, not being his Communications Director. He offered me that job. I accepted that job. Then the food fight started between me, Priebus and Bannon.

We fast forward though. There came a time when he wanted you in a bigger job than the job that you had for 11 days, 950,000 seconds. He wanted you in that job.

I don’t know…

He personally asked you to take the job.

He personally asked me to take the job. I accepted the job. I don’t know if he necessarily wanted me in that job. You see, (Michael)Dubke had left…

The Communications Director?

Yeah, exactly. He was the Communications…That office was open. When him and I were sitting in the study off the oval, what he really wanted…Let me take you back to that moment. The internecine fighting, the leaking, the garbage being thrown at each other inside the White House, the breakdown between the Nationalists and the Globalists.

All of this stuff, if you’re a corporate CEO here, you couldn’t tolerate. The number one thing you have to have in your organization is good culture. He sat with me and he said, “You were right. These guys are disasters.” You know how he talks. “I got to get rid of these guys. I’m gonna hire you to fire the leakers.” I said, “OK, great. I can’t wait to do this. This is perfect for me.”

Then he said, “OK, so you’re gonna be the Communications Director.” I looked at him. I said, “OK. Well, I don’t really have any Communications Director experience.” I call Bill Shine. You know Bill.

I do.

Bill had left the Fox News Channel. He was President of Fox News. I said to the President, “Listen, A players hire A plus players. Some of these bozos in here are like C players hiring F players. I’m not the right guy for the communications job. Let me hire the President of Fox News for you.” I called Bill. We scheduled a dinner in the White House residence, which we had.

It was Sean Hannity, myself, Bill, met with the President, Melania, Kellyanne. I was going to bring Bill in to actually do that job of the Communications Director. I was going to work on cleaning out the mess that was there. I don’t know if he necessarily wanted me to be the Communications Director.

Understood, he wanted you close.

He definitely wanted me in there to help him restructure what was a disaster that was going on.

Right, and then 11 days later you were gone.

Yeah, I got fired by John Kelly.

Right, so just…

A couple of curse words, like I said, this is how Washington works. I talked a little bit of smack about two guys that we were trying to fire. Then you got guys that are smacking up their wives inside the White House. They’re protecting the guys that are smacking up their wives. I talked a little bit of smack about two guys on a recorded phone line.

I get fired. That’s Washington. There’s the prism. There’s the kaleidoscope. That’s how the thing works.

We’re recording this interview, too. If you could just use some profanity right now, just to get that out of the way.


I’ve never used profanity in a public setting. The only time I use profanity, and I do use a lot of profanity, because I grew up in a neighborhood…If you or I were on the phone, I would use some profanity.

I’ve heard you use profanity in the past on some occasions.

But never on TV.

I’m for it.

Raise your hand if you’ve never said a curse word? Go ahead. Look at that. No hands are up. Look at that over there.

You think I’m criticizing you, and I’m applauding you. I like the profanity. I’d like this to be a more profane conversation here.


My point is I’ve never used a curse word on TV or in a public setting, but I curse. If you guys don’t curse, God bless you. I’m not an evangelical. I’m a Roman Catholic Italian. Of course, I curse. Come on.

I’m just trying to get to the profanity now because I think that would be good for this conversation. Everybody knows this is, obviously, the thing did not work out. It did not work out. You got fired, etc.

I thought it worked out pretty well, actually. Can I tell you why it worked out?

Please, I’d love to hear that.

I had the name recognition of Melania and Ivanka, and I didn’t have to be the president’s wife or daughter. I think it worked out…[laughter] [applause]
…as far as I’m concerned. At the end of the day, I tell my kids, “You define yourself. Don’t let anybody else define you.” I’ve had a great life. I’ve had this improbable life. I grew up in a blue collar family. There were no books in my house.

My dad was a worker. He can barely hear today because he’s 82, and he used heavy machinery his whole life. My mom was a homemaker. That was a time in our society where a working class family could have a good middle class life.

My parents actually believed in the American dream. They sat us down at the dinner table and said, “You’re gonna study. You’re gonna go to school. You’re gonna get into the best schools you can get into. Then, you’re gonna transcend classes.”

The big agony in our society right now is that my dad, who I love, who I would never do anything dishonest because of his work ethic. He was in the aspirational working class. The people that are in my neighborhood today, they’re in the desperational working class. You see that?

President Trump saw that — by the way, Bernie Sanders saw that. You and I have talked about this. There were 18 other candidates on the playing field, including Secretary Clinton, that did not see that.

They didn’t see the angst. They didn’t see the palpable anxiety that’s going on in our country through the forces of globalism and the economic competition. We’re starting to stratify now. We’ve got to come up with the right policies to help those people.

Those are the people I came from. For me, this has been an unbelievable success story, unbelievable.

Let me come back to the president right now. One of the things in 2015, 2016, you’ll remember this. We would go out, and we would talk to focus groups in Iowa and New Hampshire.

At Bloomberg, we very early caught some of the Trump enthusiasm because we would go and talk to some of these people. There was this incredible attachment to President Trump among some large swath of Republican prospective primary voters. A large part of it was they didn’t know very much about him except he was famous. They saw him as he has his name on buildings. He was a guy who made a lot of money. He was outside the establishment. He wasn’t politically correct, and they had a very visceral attachment to that from the very beginning.

If you asked people what they thought of candidate Trump, they’d say two words — businessman, business guy, for the average person in America. Business guy, billionaire, dealmaker.

That was a big part of his calling card. Then, there were all these other things he talked about, but that was a big part of his calling card. You just talked about the scene that greeted you when you got to the White House. You were talking about C-level players, F-level players, all this chaos, confusion, backbiting, and internecine warfare.

How does that reflect, a White House in which there is that kind of staffing turmoil in which the first chief of staff, you think is a clown. The second chief of staff, you think should be fired, or should resign right now. These are the people that President Trump has hired.

What is that kind of chaos which no one disputes, including you? What does that say about President Trump as an executive that that’s the kind of people he surrounded himself with?

We can analyze it. The cabinet, I think he’s done a very good job on. If you stepped out and look at the different cabinet selections, particularly Secretary Mattis, who I have a lot of respect for. Obviously, Steve Mnuchin is a 30-year friend.

He’s got a very good cabinet. Gary Cohn and I know each other forever. A very solid, national economic, security council, whatever you call that. General McMaster is a very, very good guy.

His mistake was he felt that he had an owesy to Reince Priebus. When he hired Reince Priebus, you created a downward shift in the way the structure of the White House was put together because at the end of the day Priebus can say whatever he wants. I’d love to have him be on a stage with me. Of course, he won’t do that.

He can say whatever he wants, he didn’t like the president. They were calculating his demise on Election Day. They were looking to get out of Dodge on Election Day. When I was there, we had an Access Hollywood incident. Maybe, you guys don’t remember that, but I remember it vividly.

I think they remember.

I do. I said that sarcastically. October the 7th, it’s a Friday night. Priebus is telling then candidate Trump that he’s got to leave the race, and he’s going to lose by 15 points, the largest electoral defeat in history. Those are his two choices. That was him.

When he got that job, he immediately made a maneuver to block what I call “Always Trumpers.” The Always Trumpers on the campaign, he couldn’t block Hope, he couldn’t block Ivanka. He couldn’t block Jared, but every other Always Trumper, who could help the president, understood the president’s personality, could help mollify certain edges that the president has.

He blocked them, and he staffed the White House with Never Trumpers. He then unstaffed the White House.

But Anthony…?

Let me finish. You asked me a question. I’m trying to answer you.

I understand that, but President Trump hired Reince Priebus.

He did.

He hired John Kelly. Ultimately, it’s not like he got that job, it’s like it came to him by accident.

He’s a very good executive. He built a hell of an organization. Look, you can dislike this guy, and that’s fine. You can dislike him, but let’s just try to be objective.

I’m trying to do that.

He built a great organization, and then he got flummoxed in the recession. He rebuilt the organization known as the Trump Organization. He then went on to become an international television celebrity.

Then, in 17 short months, he went from being a business executive, television star to the American presidency. He knocked off all the establishment candidates.

You may not think he’s a very stable genius, but he thinks he’s a very stable genius. The point that I’m making about it is that he’s actually talented. You can’t look at him and say that he’s not talented.

Let’s just step back for a second. The president, one of his flaws, doesn’t know who his friends are. One of his flaws is that he feels like he had an owesy to Reince Priebus. He put Reince Priebus in that job.

What’s that word that you choose?

Owesy, he owed him.


He felt like there were 18 guys on the field. Priebus was trying to hit him in the beginning, and then he pulled back. Priebus got him to sign the pledge, thinking that he was going to be out and wouldn’t run as an independent candidate.

What I found very ironic is most of these politicians didn’t honor the pledge. That’s what politicians do, news flash, big deal. He got Trump to sign that pledge. Priebus was one of those Washington operatives, self-described in “Vanity Fair,” when he gave an interview, that he comes across as a nice guy, but he’s a knife fighter. I’m laughing. That’s what I said about him. He’s a jerk off.

He hired him — very, very poor hiring choice. When that is your chief of staff, then that’s what you get. That was his mistake, and it’s cost him. He rebounded into General Kelly. If you want my opinion there, I’m happy to share it.

There’s so much I want to cover with you. We don’t have much time. Just very quickly, tell us why you think General Kelly should be fired or resign?

He has to resign because number one, he’s lost the locker room. The morale in the White House, on a scale of 1 to 10, is -15. He has to resign because you cannot run the White House through fear and intimidation.

The morale in the White House, on a scale of 1 to 10, is -15.

These aren’t people that are in the American military, they weren’t trained at Parris Island. He has a staff rank, and he dictates commands to people. That’s not how it works in a civilian community. He has to resign because he wants people to lie for him as it relates to what happened with the wife beating.

What I would say is that you knew the guy was beating his wife, but you let Hope date him. That’s enough for me to resign. I’ve got a daughter. I’ve got a wife. I’ve got a mom. Look, I don’t know how you guys feel about wife beating, that is a red letter item for me. I’m not a big fan of wife beating.

Moreover, when you’re a general, and the “chief of staff,” why don’t you focus on the word staff and not the word chief? Let me just finish because you asked me. When he fired me, I took it like a gentleman. I shook his hand, I walked out. For six months, I said nothing but positive things about him on TV.

Then, he denied my access to the White House. He denied Corey’s access to the White House. He started doing the things that people do when they want to hug power. You guys may not live in Washington, or maybe you’ve never worked in the White House.

Let me tell you what happens to people that work in the White House. They get intoxicated by the power. Lord Acton once said that power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The first move that I made when I was the comms director was I turned all the lights and cameras back on. I’ve read the Constitution. I went to law school. I understand the Constitution. I turned the lights and cameras back on because I believe in the fourth estate.

I believe in the power of free press, and you’ve got to hold people in power accountable to the rest of the nation. When you shut the lights off, you shut the camera off, I’m just telling you the truth.


You shut the lights off and the camera off, what are you guys doing? Wake up. The funny part about this whole thing is they turned to me and said, “Well, we’ll turn the direct camera on, but not the cross camera.”

I said, “The cross camera is the one that we want. The journalists want their parents to see them on TV. Turn the cross camera back on.”

What I’m saying to you, John, is when you love power to the point where you will lie and cover things up, you got to go.

I ask you the question, again, though. The president has the power to fire anyone.

You know I’m right about this.

Your view is that the chief of staff tolerates the wife beater. Why?

He’s not going to fire a four-star general. He’s a four-star general, and he’s a Gold Star family.

You just told me there’s a red line. You can’t tolerate…The president though.

You know what, it probably is to the president, but, again, John Kelly, despite this, he can’t run the White House. He’s an American war hero, and he made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. I hold him in great respect for those reasons.

Someone should have a straight up, honest conversation with him and say, “Dude, you were great at this stuff, and you made an unbelievable sacrifice for the United States. You have a great love of country, but you can’t run the White House.

Let me give you a news flash. You can’t ask people inside the White House to cover up something like this. I’m just sorry. You can’t do that.”

It seems like, maybe, the president could have that conversation with him, right before he fired him. By your standards, it seems like that is the right thing to do.

Let me tell you something, John. You know the president. You’ve met the president. He doesn’t like that kind of conflict. He didn’t fire me, he had Kelly fire me.

Let me ask you this question. You know Donald Trump. As you said, you’ve known him for a long time. One of the things that people thought, who were making the optimistic case for Trump when he got in was because he was not an ideological. He was a guy, for a long time, had been a Democrat. He had given money to Democrats.

You can find tape of him advocating for universal healthcare, drug legalization. He was pro-choice for a long time. He held a lot of liberal positions on a lot of issues for years, and years, and years.

People thought, “Well, there’s a chance he’ll just go to Washington and be totally transactional, and he will be able to get stuff done because he’s not beholden to any particular ideology.” Would you agree at all with the criticism that people make?

I know you’re in a different place than he is on certain things, marriage equality. On some of the gun stuff, you are more of a New York liberal on some of these issues where I thought Donald Trump was 20 years ago, or 10 years ago.

Do you think that Donald Trump has governed the way that people who thought he was non-ideological assumed he might govern?

No, because what happens is you get the job, and now you’ve got cards in your hands, and they’re not the cards that you’d like. We live in a world the way it is, not the way we want it to be.

Let me just say three quick things. We’re running out of time. One, on the guns, I’m a pro-Second Amendment person, but you’ve got to stop the mass shootings, period, the end. By the way, I don’t care how liberal you are in this group.

If you understand the Constitution and the origination of the Second Amendment, it’s never going away. What you have to do is stop the mass shootings. I’m pro stop the mass shootings.

We should knock it off with the NRA and all this other nonsense and come up with a strategy where legitimate, honest people that want to use their gun for recreational or hunting purposes can use it, but cuckoos, they can’t have a gun.

Number two, I’m marriage equality. I don’t know. You guys read the Declaration of Independence. It’s life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is that only for straight people? I’m sorry. That’s not only for straight people, that’s for everybody.

Last point on marriage equality. The Republicans are for smaller government. Everywhere in your life, they want a smaller government, except your bedroom. They want a larger government in your bedroom.

It’s moronic, and it’s hypocritical. For me, I have gay people in my family. I don’t even think it’s a choice, by the way. You’re born that way. We should love everybody. We should knock that nonsense off, too, and move into a post-partisan world.

Last point. He’s got an opportunity here. If he steps back from it, and he hires the right chief of staff, and he gets the right advocacy because what happens to the president is he starts tweeting inappropriate stuff or non-strategic tweets when he feels that he’s undefended.

You can just go look at it. If he’s got great media advocacy and people are carrying his agenda to the television, he dials back the tweeting. He’s taking hits, he fires in the tweeting. He did about Jay-Z. He’s watching Van Jones. He’s firing in tweets about Jay-Z, totally unnecessary.


If he gets the tweeting down, and he gets people around him that can actually talk to him straight…By the way, I’ll tell you one last thing because we’re out of time. It’s very hard to talk to a president straight.

I don’t care how close you are to them, he or she. I don’t care how close you think you are as friends. You’re in the Oval Office. Your heart is beating fast. He is the President of the United States.

They’re coming in and saying, “Yes, sir, yes, sir, blah, blah, blah” The level of obsequiousness is a 25, on a sale of 1 to 10. I turned to him. I said, “How do you want me to talk to you, like we’re friends from New York or like the rest of these people are talking to you?”

He said, “Oh no, no, no. I want you to talk to me like we’re friends from New York.” Could not do it, ladies and gentlemen. Could not do it because he is the President of the United States. He needs a couple more truth tellers around him, and he needs a couple of people that recognize him.

By the way, you may not like him, but he hasn’t done anything dramatically hurtful to any progressive agenda in the last 13 months.


Yes, what has he done?

All right.

What has he done?

Delegate: Everything!

What is it?

Delegate: About his immigration policy. You are Italian, I’m Italian. My name’s Angelo Papparelli, pretty Italian. The Italians were the Mexicans.

You got to make this question quick, sir. If you got a question, ask it please.

Delegate: Where is there any kind of sincerity around humanity, people, the American dream?

Again, I appreciate that, Angelo, because my grandfather. The word was nina, no Italians need to apply when he got to the country. I do appreciate that, but again, this is the style stuff more than the actuality.

In quick, brief summary, the immigration policy is to books and records, what is legal immigration in the United States signed by both Democratic and Republican presidents. Let’s adhere to the legal administration of the immigration. That’s all it is. The way he talks about it…

Delegate: But he’s ended DACA. He’s moved to end it. Yes, he has.

No, he actually hasn’t though.

Delegate: He really has.

But he actually really hasn’t.

Delegate: There’s a court case about it right now. The court has stopped him. He’s ending it.

There’s a proposal.

Delegate: He wants to kill it.

Delegate: What about white supremacy and anti-Semitism?

You’re saying that Trump is a white supremacist?

Delegate: I’m saying that he’s empowered those groups, white supremacists. We just got a report from the ADL that anti-Semitism was at 57 percent last year.

And you’re blaming the president for that?

Delegate: Yes.

Delegate: No doubt about it.

And you’re blaming the president.

Delegate: Absolutely.

All right. I could see this is a pretty supportive crowd of President Trump.


I could appreciate it. I’m in San Francisco. Let me just say this. He’s not an anti-Semite. I can tell you that there are mezuzahs in the West Wing. He’s also raising Orthodox Jewish grandchildren. You can’t tell me the guy’s an anti-Semite.

Moreover, you may not like the policy of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but I can tell you I’ve analyzed the thing, and I did have a security clearance. That’s the best opportunity you have for peace for the Jewish people.

I hear you, but he’s not an anti-Semite. You want to blame him for that. It’s the same thing. They want to blame FBI Director Wray for the phone calls that have come in related to the shooting. I said two nights ago on television, “You can’t blame FBI Director Wray for that.”

On the white supremacist stuff, sir, I hit him very hard on the Charlottesville thing because I understand history, and there aren’t good actors on both sides. Look, I know what he was trying to say. That’s a Trump malaprops. He should have said that there are bad actors on both sides, whether it’s antisemite and the white supremacists.

I hit him very hard on that. That was only two weeks out of the administration. I said there can be no daylight, and there can be no equivocation on Neo-Nazis in any way, shape, or form. If you’re going to hate him because you don’t like him, you don’t like his tweeting style, you don’t like his personality, I get all that.

Let’s clinically strain through the policies, and then let’s analyze what he’s doing. The economy’s moving. Real wages are up. There’s a peace deal that we think is possible between the North Koreans and the South Koreans on that peninsula.

The Saudis are talking to the Israelis. I do think there’s an opportunity there to have some level of peace in the Middle East. We decimated ISIS. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but there’s a lot of good things that are going on. Stylistically, I see the point.

We’re out of time. Listen, we probably, basically, should have set up four hours for this conversation. I’m sorry, you guys. We can’t keep it going just because there are other people that have to talk. Anthony’s going to go outside if you want to go and talk to him more, beat him up.

Don’t throw anything.

He does not have any security.

I’m trying to patch things up with my wife. She bought me this tie. Don’t throw anything at me, OK?


You don’t have any security with you here, right?

I never have security.

He’s an easy target if you want to go at him.


You’re nice to come.

I appreciate the opportunity.

All the things you said at the end were a bit controversial, but it’s good to hear from you. Thank you very much for being here.

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