One of the many avenues of attack used by critics of President Donald Trump to disparage him personally and diminish his presidency is to question his mental health, sometimes to even claim outright that the president is suffering some kind of breakdown.
The latest critic to wield that particular rhetorical weapon against Trump is former White House spokesperson Anthony Scaramucci, a defender-turned-bitter-exile who is now encouraging a Republican revolt, while also enjoying newfound popularity among Trump’s haters on the left.
Turning on Trump
Scaramucci, a hedge fund manager from New York, served in Trump’s White House as communications director for a grand total of just 11 days in July 2017, before he was unceremoniously sent packing by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly after an expletive-laced interview with a reporter had come to light.
Yet, even after his dismissal from the White House, Scaramucci remained a loyal supporter of President Trump until only just recently, when he finally began to take shots at his former boss in response to supposedly “racist” remarks and policies, a turn that appears to have been made complete by the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
The counter-puncher president, rarely one to let a disparaging shot from critics go unanswered, finally began to fire back at Scaramucci in his typically insulting manner, which leads us to where we are today.
In response to a quote from Trump saying he was “not a fan” of Scaramucci, the formerly loyal supporter tweeted his reply.
“There he goes again, using the Bully Pulpit to bully his fellow citizens, Scaramucci said.
“It’s less about me and more about my fellow @gop. It’s a deterrence, don’t speak up about my incompetence and instability and mental decline otherwise I will do the same thing to you. . . But ppl will speak,” he added.
Ramping up the rancor
The president’s remarks, and Scaramucci’s responsive tweet questioning Trump’s mental state, came in the wake of remarks from Scaramucci encouraging a 2020 Republican primary challenge against Trump during an appearance on CNN, which, of course, has embraced Scaramucci as the latest member of the network’s anti-Trump “resistance.”
“I think you have to consider a change at the top of the ticket when someone is acting like this. Let’s watch how this unfolds,” Scaramucci said on CNN’s New Day. “The guy’s actually dissembling a little bit and sounding more and more nonsensical,” he added. “And, you know, we’re sort of anesthetized to it, and many say just let him act like that. But you’re fracturing the institutions and all of the things that the country stands for.”
To be sure, Scaramucci is not the first, nor will he be the last, critic of the president to insinuate or flatly assert that Trump has mental problems of one type or another, and Trump will undoubtedly thump Scaramucci again if the criticism persists.
The only question that remains is how long the left will embrace Scaramucci — someone they used to relentlessly mock — until they, too, kick him to the curb as nothing more than a disloyal and untrustworthy foot soldier?
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