Anthony Scaramucci: Trump is acting ‘nuts’ on China

Business & Technology

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci says President Donald Trump’s policies toward China are counterproductive. “When he acts nuts I have to call it out,” Scaramucci said at a SupChina-hosted webinar on May 21.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci says President Donald Trump’s policies toward China are counterproductive. “When he acts nuts I have to call it out,” Scaramucci said at a SupChina-hosted webinar on May 21.

During the event, titled “Post-pandemic financial markets between the U.S. and China,” Scaramucci extensively criticized the President:

“Imagine that all of us here are on the board of a publicly traded company, and we hire a CEO to do a job, and then the CEO starts demonstrating very erratic behavior, and starts demonstrating things that would be nonsensical.

What would be nonsensical? Disavowing our allies, our post-WWII allies. What would be nonsensical for the United States? To create a Cold War with China. We have a strong bilateral relationship with China. It’s not perfect…we have an opportunity to have one of the greatest economic centuries, one of the greatest aspirational opportunities for the world, if the Chinese and Americans can figure this out and get along.”

Scaramucci also spoke about what it’s like to work in the White House, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

“What happens is you’re close to power, and President Trump is moving those goal posts on you. He is testing your morality. He is testing your moral core. He is testing your principles, and he’s going to keep moving them on you. In the case of Michael Cohen, who just got released from jail today, his lawyer, that was an example. Michael wanted to stay close to him. [President Trump] kept moving the goal post, and [Cohen] ended up in jail. Manafort in jail. Mike Pompeo wants to stay close to power. He wants to stay close to President Trump, and he is chanting that China situation. Compare him to Steve Mnuchin who is a former Goldman Sachs partner, and has a realpolitik view of the world, and a common sense view of the world. He’s trying to stay out of it.”

Scaramucci said the COVID-19 pandemic has likely put his former boss in a tailspin. “He is looking at those polling numbers, and I think the president is still between shock and anger as it relates to the pandemic,” Scaramucci said.

President Trump faces declining approval ratings for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and last week visited the battleground state of Michigan, where he has sparred with state officials over reopening the state’s economy and his decision to not wear a mask while touring a Ford Motor Co. plant. Over Memorial Day weekend, Trump used Twitter to spread conspiracy theories about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and attack states’ attempts to increase vote-by-mail efforts.

“The shock is setting in along with the polling numbers, and it’s one of the weaknesses of his personality. He’s now starting to do rage tweeting. Let me pick a fight somewhere. How am I going to win this,” Scaramucci said of the president.

For this election year, Scaramucci said he expects Trump to continue implementing tactics he saw him use in the past. “When you are seeking power, and you start to get unmoored from your principles, you will do classic things to seek power. One of the things that you do is you try to split people. You try to divide them,” Scaramucci said. “You try to create a tribal element which will generate a tremendous amount of passion for your tribe. It will get your voter turnout higher than the other people’s turnout.”

Scaramucci, who is currently a managing partner of the investment firm SkyBridge Capital, spoke with Ted Wang, founder of Puissance Capital Management and former Head of Global Trading at Goldman Sachs.

Also see:

Decoupling could hurt the U.S. more than China — economist Yukon Huang