Scaramucci freewheels on Friedman’s faith, ‘Shiksas’ and Twitter account in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – Cracking jokes while sprinkling in a few Yiddish phrases, former and very brief White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci emphasized the importance of a robust US-Israel relationship in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Casting aside political correctness, he told reporters at the King David Hotel, “I have the benefit of being an American who is not a Jew. I am a Goy who knows the difference between a Sheigitz (non-Jewish male) and a Shiksa (non-Jewish female).”
Although Breitbart News led by Steve Bannon has disparagingly used the term “globalist” to describe National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Scaramucci insisted, “If you are really listening closely to the President, he is also saying that he is a globalist. He wants there to be interconnectivity that is positive and fair. He wants trade to be free, but he wants it to be fair.”
Scaramucci served as the White House Communications Director for a mere 11 days and provoked controversy when he gave a profanity filled interview with the New Yorker, while also insulting members of the Trump administration.
Touching upon political sensitivities, the Long Island native noted, “There is no question about it. It would be like not addressing the elephant in the room. (US Ambassador to Israel) David Friedman, obviously is an American that is a practicing the faith of Judaism, so some would call into question his bias and his slant towards Israel as a result of that.” However, the charismatic former Harvard Law School graduate added that Friedman’s legal training and knowledge of the region would be beneficial for the peace process.
Scaramucci’s trip was sponsored by the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce and the former Wall Street executive is said to be exploring potential business opportunities during his quick trip to Israel.
When asked about President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Scaramucci explained, “The sooner that happens the better.” The former White House Communications Director offered context for the embassy remaining in Tel Aviv during the first 10 months of the presidency, “It’s the governmental process that’s in place when decisions are made of that magnitude, I think there is a level of deliberation that would slow down a very fast moving person like the President.”
Last month, the Twitter account of Scaramucci’s new media venture: “The Scaramucci Post” raised eyebrows when posting a survey asking how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust and included options, “less than one million,” and “between 1-2 million.” An apology was quickly offered but not before the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed concern about such rhetoric providing legitimacy to Holocaust deniers.
Before taking questions, Scaramucci opened his remarks praising Israel’s accomplishments and cited former Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and President John Kennedy. “When you visit this beautiful country for yourself, you can see the love the people have not only for the country but for humanity,” Scaramucci said.
‘The Mooch’ repeatedly emphasized that he was speaking as a private citizen and not a representative of the Trump administration. At the same time, Scaramucci responded to recent Israeli media reports regarding some concern among hawkish ministers to the White House’s upcoming peace plan that could pressure the Israeli government. “I would find it very hard to believe that a prime minister like Bibi Netanyahu would allow anything to be forced on him.” Scaramucci added that he doesn’t expect the Trump administration to “ram” a diplomatic initiative “down the government of Israel’s throat”
Jumping to the recent upheaval in Saudi Arabia, with the arrests of some 200 individuals including wealthy businessmen and former ministers, the former White House top aide jokingly called the moves “Game of Thrones: Episode four.”
At the end of the 45-minute press conference, Scaramucci noted that he personally selected the 237,000 accounts on Twitter he follows, while adding that the site only allows individuals to follow 1,000 accounts per day. “You want to hear my whole Twitter strategy guys?” he asked the group of chuckling reporters. His aide tried to cut him off before Scaramucci interjected, “You direct message me on Twitter: I’m sure that I am following you.”