I have previously written about Anthony Scaramucci and his short period as a White House Communications Director. Scaramucci has said that he remains in contact with President Donald Trump and it was therefore a surprise to read that Scaramucci called Trump a “liar” in promoting his new book. After considerable coverage on that point, Scaramucci made a rather curious pivot in clarifying that President Trump is not a “liar” but an “intentional liar.” That really does not sound like an improvement.
During a CNN interview, Scaramucci said “Okay, well we both know that he’s telling lies. So if you want me to say he’s a liar, I’m happy to say he’s a liar.”
Now he is insisting that he was really trying to say that he is “an intentional liar” who uses “a methodology of mistruth” with a strategy in mind. He seemed to strangely blame CNN and media in reporting his strikingly clear language:
“They asked me if the president tells mistruths or lies. I said he does intentionally lie to create a dog whistle and create some atmospherics … So they go and put a little tagline, ‘Scaramucci calls president a liar.’ That’s not what I was doing. . . . I didn’t really say the president was a liar. I said the president is using a methodology of mistruth to create that level of tension and anxiety. He’s like pushing the mainstream media and the left, and he’s trying to galvanize his base, and it’s a media device.”
He later seemed to reaffirm his view that there are different categories of liars with the worst being what he calls a “liar-liar.” In an interview to Bloomberg, he insisted “He’s an intentional liar. It’s very different from just being a liar-liar. . . . Yes, the president is speaking mistruths,. Yes, the president is lying. He’s doing it intentionally to incite certain people, which would include left-leaning journalists and most of the left-leaning politicians.”
So I guess the point is that he is a “liar-liar-pants-on-fire-liar”? I am not a communications professional but that does not seem a particularly effective spin, particularly when you are saying that Trump is lying to incite people. Of course, arguing that these are “white lies” would not sit well in the current environment but it was successfully used previously in such a circumstance: