Former Trump White House aide Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday that President Trump's visits to hospitals in El Paso and Dayton in the wake of last weekend's mass shootings turned into a "catastrophe" for the president.
Scaramucci, who briefly served as White House communications director in July 2017, told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that Trump "didn’t do well on the trip" and the subsequent coverage did not show him expressing "compassion" and "empathy."
"He probably would be mad at somebody for saying that. Maybe he’ll tweet something negative about somebody for saying he didn’t do well, but facts are he did not do well on the trip because if the trip is being made about him and not the demonstration of compassion and love and caring and empathy for those people, then it becomes a catastrophe for him, the administration, and it’s also a bad reflection on the country," he said.
Matthews specifically mentioned a Washington Post report that cited anonymous White House sources who criticized Trump's behavior during the visits to two hospitals, where he met with survivors and first responders Wednesday.
Scaramucci called out the "cowards" inside the Trump White House for refusing to express their opinions directly to the president and instead leak to a reporter without giving their name.
"Something about Washington where there is an allergic reaction to the truth and people would rather tell the reporter on an anonymous phone call about what they think is going on in an attempt that they think actually saves their face. Those people inside the White House are a bunch of cowards. They should tell the guy the truth instead of picking up the phone and calling a reporter," he said.
He also expressed doubt that the Republican-led Senate will take action to address gun violence, arguing they will conclude that any such legislation could cost them votes with Trump's base in 2020.
"They're making a calculation, just look at the political strategy, that they need every person in that base lined up like they were in 2016," said Scaramucci, who worked on the Trump campaign in 2016 and the presidential transition team.