Anthony Scaramucci felt the heat Sunday when several of his fellow CNN panelists pounced on him for calling President Donald Trump “obviously very presidential.”
Scaramucci, the infamous former White House communications director who was forced to resign last July just 10 days after being appointed, defended Trump’s often controversial behavior during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“You guys don’t like his style, but he’s making a very big point out there,” Scaramucci said, referring to reports that Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the denuclearization of the East Asian nation. “You underestimate the guy.”
But Scaramucci’s assertion instantly drew rebuttals from his co-panelists, including CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers.
“If Barack Obama paid off a porn star $130,000, if he cheated on three wives ... if he had a handful of advisers that were either indicted or pled guilty, then there would be pitchforks in front of the White House,” said Sellers, a former Democratic state representative for South Carolina. “Presidential is not something that is associated with Donald Trump. ... Paying off a porn star is presidential?”
Scaramucci denied that Trump paid off a porn star. He acknowledged that Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen did pay Stephanie Clifford, a former adult film star who says she and Trump had sex just months after now-first lady Melania Trump gave birth to their son Barron in 2006.
Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, filed a lawsuit against Trump last week, claiming he never signed a nondisclosure agreement that would have prevented her from talking about their alleged affair.
“You gotta ask Michael Cohen why the payment was paid,” Scaramucci said, before attempting to direct the conversation away from the Clifford story. “You guys are all over the map. Let’s bring it back in. The guy is presidential because he is the president.”
Watch the exchange around the 6:20 mark below.
Scaramucci’s interpretation of Trump’s behavior appears to differ from the president’s opinion of himself. During a speech Saturday at a campaign rally for Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania, Trump said people would be “so bored” if he acted presidential.
“Don’t forget: This got us elected,“Trump said. “If I came like a stiff, you guys wouldn’t be here tonight.”
After his CNN spot Sunday, Scaramucci tweeted that Trump was “redefining” what it means to be presidential.
He is President. And he is redefining the term Presidential whether they like or not. https://t.co/SoSS8C9DLm— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 11, 2018
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.