Former short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Monday that President Trump is ‘‘giving people a license to hate’’ and called on Republicans to consider replacing him on the top of the ticket next year.
‘‘How are we all tolerating this?’’ Scaramucci said during an interview on CNN. ‘‘The rhetoric is so charged and so divisive that we all have to just take a step back now and say, ‘What are we doing actually?’ ’’
In an interview with The Washington Post later Monday, Scaramucci said he wanted to recruit other former Trump aides and prominent Republicans to come forward with critical opinions of the president — views he said that many had shared with him privately.
Until recently, Scaramucci, who was fired after serving in the White House for 11 days in 2017, had continued to express support for Trump even as he increasingly spoke out on television and Twitter about some of the president’s rhetoric on race and other issues.
Last week, Scaramucci characterized Trump’s visits to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, in the aftermath of mass shootings in the two cities as a ‘‘total catastrophe,’’ saying Trump appeared more focused on promoting himself than helping victims of the violence.
That criticism was apparently what prompted Trump to lash out at Scaramucci on Twitter over the weekend, writing that he was ‘‘totally incapable of handling’’ the communications director job and ‘‘would do anything to come back in.’’
During the CNN interview, Scaramucci said he is no longer supporting Trump’s reelection bid and wants to see another Republican step up to run.
Trump responded to Scaramucci’s comments in a tweet Monday afternoon.
‘‘Scaramucci, who like so many others had nothing to do with my Election victory, is only upset that I didn’t want him back in the Administration (where he desperately wanted to be),’’ Trump said. ‘‘Also, I seldom had time to return his many calls to me. He just wanted to be on TV!’’
Giuliani urges restraint on Epstein conspiracy theories
Rudy Giuliani, a personal lawyer for President Trump, advocated Monday for ‘‘withholding judgement [sic]’’ on conspiracy theories concerning the death of Jeffrey Epstein two days after Trump promoted a baseless one involving former President Bill Clinton.
‘‘The conspiracy theories concerning the Epstein death are multiplying,’’ Giuliani wrote on Twitter, referring to the death in a federal corrections facility of the politically connected financier who had been facing charges of sex trafficking. ‘‘But it is best to wait for some key facts like the findings of the autopsy.’’
His morning tweet made no mention of Trump, who on Saturday retweeted a message from conservative actor and comedian Terrence Williams. Williams suggested that Epstein’s death might be tied to Clinton, who once socialized with Epstein. Williams also questioned how Epstein could have died by suicide if he had been on suicide watch.
Williams’s claim is completely unsubstantiated, and federal officials say Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death.
Angel Ureña, a Clinton spokesman, responded on Twitter over the weekend: ‘‘Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it. Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?’’ The 25th Amendment spells out a process for the president’s Cabinet to remove him from office.
News of Epstein’s death on Saturday quickly fed conspiracy theories that powerful people who once socialized with Epstein had a hand in the financier’s fate and stood to benefit from his silencing.
Campaigns selling ‘Supreme Court Champs’ T-shirts
The reelection campaigns of President Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican from Kentucky, on Monday unveiled a new T-shirt touting the duo as ‘‘Back-to-Back Supreme Court Champs,’’ in a reference to the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The black T-shirt features the silhouettes of Trump and McConnell on the front and the names of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on its sleeves. It is available to supporters who make a donation of $35 or more through a joint fund-raising site set up by both campaigns.
‘‘President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just keep WINNING,’’ the website reads. ‘‘They confirmed TWO conservative Supreme Court Justices in the last 2 years. We just launched these exclusive, limited-edition, Official Back to Back Supreme Court Champs T-shirts to celebrate our win and drive liberals crazy.’’
The T-shirt is the latest twist in a long-running effort by Trump and McConnell to focus on judicial nominations in a bid to energize Republican voters. Both Trump and McConnell have touted the confirmations of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the campaign trail. And in April, McConnell kicked off his 2020 reelection bid by releasing a video highlighting his successful effort to block former president Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.