Despite being fired after just ten days as the White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci remains a big fan of President Trump. In an AP interview last week, Scaramucci said he still talks to members of Trump’s inner circle “regularly” and expects to be part of the Trump reelection effort in some capacity.
“I have very good relationships there still, and you have to remember we were a team for 18 months, and so we all had different roles. And so I’m still playing my role frankly. I’m an advocate for the president, media surrogate when I need to be,” he said.
For now, Scaramucci is focused on his business dealings, but he’s still emulating his old boss. Just as Trump threatened to sue the New York Times after several women accused him of sexual assault, the Mooch is threatening legal action against a newspaper that printed some unflattering remarks about him. But while Trump took aim at the “newspaper of record,” Scaramucci is targeting the student newspaper from his alma mater, Tufts University.
On November 6, Tufts graduate student Camilo A. Caballero penned an op-ed in The Tufts Daily newspaper calling on the university’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy to drop Scaramucci from its advisory board, which he’s served on since 2016. It read, in part:
However, there sits on the Board of Advisors of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts a man whose career and ideals are diametrically opposed to those ideas and who sullies the vision of the University.
This is Anthony Scaramucci, a man who began his infamously short career as the White House communications director by uttering profanity-laced comments on national news outlets, the man who sold his soul in contradiction to his own purported beliefs for a seat in that White House and a man who makes his Twitter accessible to friends interested in giving comfort to Holocaust deniers.
A man who is irresponsible, inconsistent, an unethical opportunist and who exuded the highest degree of disreputability should not be on the Fletcher Board. The Board of Advisors plays a critical role in building the spirit of our school and also, in more practical terms, board members define and oversee our school’s operations.
After more than 240 students and administrators signed an online petition calling for Scaramucci’s removal, the school announced that he had been invited to speak on campus. Caballero responded with a second op-ed, which referred to Scaramucci’s “unethical behavior.”
The Boston Globe reports that days later, Scaramucci sent Caballero an email in which he took issue with the 26-year-old’s use of that phrase.
“So either back it up or you will hear from my lawyer,” Scaramucci wrote. “You may have a difference of opinion from me politically which I respect but you can’t make spurious claims about my reputation and integrity.”
That was followed by a letter from Scaramucci’s attorney demanding that Caballero and The Tufts Daily retract “false and defamatory allegations of fact” about his client and issue an apology.
The letter claims that while the pieces are clearly labeled “op-ed,” they’re still defamatory under Massachusetts law because the claims about Scaramucci’s morals and ethics are “not presented as opinion but rather as false facts.”
However, T. Barton Carter, a communications and law professor at Boston University, told the Globe he doesn’t think Scaramucci has much of a case.
“First of all, he would have to prove that they said something factual — not something that’s an opinion — defamatory, and inaccurate,” Carter said. “And then he still has to prove that they had knowledge it was false, or at least had serious doubts.”
Carter noted that such legal threats often go nowhere — for instance Trump’s suit against the Times never materialized.
However, there have already been consequences to Scaramucci’s legal threat. Tufts postponed his talk at the university, which was scheduled for Monday, until the “legal matters” are settled. “We’re disappointed that Mr. Scaramucci has taken this action,” university spokesperson Patrick Collins said in the statement.
But the Mooch will not be silenced. In a series of tweets late on Sunday night, he defended himself, explaining that no one questions his integrity and gets away with it — not even The Tufts Daily.