White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced his resignation last week as America learned that Wall Street insider Anthony Scaramucci would take the position of communications director in a White House that is already heavily influenced by the financial elite.
But if Scaramucci– a man with many past positions that in no way align with the platform upon which Trump ran— was an administration wink signaling a willingness to get along with the establishment, the establishment may have missed it.
Talk out of Washington over the weekend centered heavily on whether Trump was looking into how to pardon himself and members of his family in the event of a-shit-hit-the-fan scenario for his fledgling administration.
Scaramucci was, however, front and center attempting to cool talk of potential Trump pardons. The message: Why would the need to reach for his pardon power?
To that point, Scaramucci is right. Even if Trump isn’t delivering on Obamacare or any number of other things, there’s still no undeniable evidence that he’s done anything wrong.
The new communications director focused on Trump’s alleged troubles as they pertain to leaks from the White House, noting that news of the president asking about pardon power also came from a leak.
“I think the gist of that leak, basically, or that tweet, I should say, is that he’s not going to pardon anybody,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“He doesn’t need to pardon anybody,” Scaramucci continued.
But for Trump fans, what’s most off-putting is that anyone’s willing to have the conversation in the first place.
Sen. Rand Paul, who despite being hard on Trump hasn’t entertained any of the fantastical thoughts held by never-Trumpers, addressed the pardon question on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Specifically, Paul responded to question brought forth by an earlier op-ed in The Washington Post, written by former White House officials and a Harvard lawyer. Their message was basically that if Trump did happen to do something wrong on his way to the White House, then he’s screwed.
“I think in all likelihood he does [have the ability to pardon himself and family],” Paul said. “I think that some of this hasn’t been adjudicated.”
The libertarian-ish Republican did, however, warn that it wouldn’t be politically prudent.
“In a political sphere, I would caution someone to think about pardoning themselves or family members or et cetera,” said Paul.
Meanwhile, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer was talking about the reasons Trump (according to his detractors) might need to pardon himself, and what it would mean if he did.
“If he fired [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller or pardoned himself or someone close to him under investigation, it would be one of the greatest, greatest breaking of rule of law, of traditional democratic norms of what our democracy is about,” Schumer said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I think it would cause a cataclysm in Washington. I cannot imagine our Republican colleagues, including Ryan and Mitch McConnell, just standing by if he were to do either of those things.”
But did Trump even talk about pardons to begin with?
Not according to his lawyer.
Per Jay Sekulow, Trump’s attorney, on “This Week”: “We have not and I continue to not have conversations with the president of the United States about pardons.”
Stay tuned.. I guess?