Scaramucci defends Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ swipe

Short-lived White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci defended on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s racially charged swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, saying it was justified in the context of their antagonistic relationship.

Trump disparagingly referred to the Massachusetts Democrat as “Pocahontas” during an event Monday with Native American WWII veterans at the White House. The remark was immediately condemned, though Scaramucci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” it was reflective of “the style that got him elected.”

“I don’t think he’d be in the office if he didn’t have that style,” he added.

Pocahontas was a historical figure from the 17th century, and using her name in an intentionally disparaging way insults native peoples and degrades their cultures. The largest Native American advocacy group has said that is why it has condemned the president’s usage in this manner.

Scaramucci also noted that Trump and Warren, a liberal firebrand who is one of the president’s fiercest critics on Capitol Hill, have a fraught relationship. Trump has frequently sought to disparage Warren by calling her “Pocahontas,” a reference to her claim that she is part Native American, citing “family stories” passed down through generations of her family.

“Well, I think that she’s been nasty to him, and he’s been concurrently nasty to her,” Scaramucci said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that the use of “Pocahontas” was not a racial slur and that it “certainly was not the president’s intent” to use a racial slur.

Sanders’ job to ‘protect the President’

When Scaramucci joined the White House, Sanders replaced Sean Spicer as White House press secretary. He credited her on Tuesday with helping to restart regular White House press briefings.

“Sarah and I sat together and turned the lights back on,” he said.

Asked if she tells the truth at the podium, Scaramucci likened her to a hockey goalie blocking shots.

“She does the best of her ability to tell the truth, but also to protect the president,” he said.

‘I think it was real’

Scaramucci also said he believes the authenticity of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said on the tape. “Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”

Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that Trump has suggested that the tape is not genuine, though Sanders said Monday that the president stands by his original apology for the remarks surfaced in the video.

“I think it was real,” Scaramucci said of the tape. He added, “I think (Trump) said in the taped remarks that he said it, he acknowledged it, and he offered his apologies.”