The Palm Beach County GOP disinvited Anthony Scaramucci from addressing its annual fundraising event after the short-lived former White House spokesman criticized President Trump’s “racially charged” statement that four members of Congress who are women of color should leave the United States.
“He suggested the president’s comments were racist and that he was becoming a racist. Our board was infuriated,” said Michael A. Barnett, the Republican Party chairman in the county, home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago winter getaway.
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“We believe the tweets were not racist, the president is not racist and that Scaramucci’s comments were unfair,” said Barnett, who is African-American.
Scaramucci couldn’t be immediately reached. Barnett made his comments to POLITICO on Thursday morning after emailing Scaramucci that he was no longer invited to speak at the Aug. 15 event, called “Lobsterfest,” for the comments he has made against Trump since Tuesday.
“I don’t think the president is a racist,” Scaramucci first told the BBC on Tuesday. “But here’s the thing, if you continue to say and act in that manner, then we all have to look at him and say, ‘OK, well, maybe you weren’t a racist, but now you’re turning into one.‘”
Scaramucci has repeated his criticisms on Twitter and in multiple cable news interviews, including a CNN appearance Thursday morning where he theorized that Trump’s attacks on the four members of Congress — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — could propel the president to a second term.
The multiple TV appearances and direct criticisms, according to a longtime Trump adviser, have left the president “furious” with Scaramucci. It’s not the first time. Scaramucci lasted just 10 days as White House communications director and was fired after crudely criticizing Trump loyalists.
Now that Scaramucci has been disinvited from the Aug. 15 Palm Beach County GOP fundraiser, two longtime Trump allies remain: Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz and political operative Roger Stone, who was ordered by a judge Tuesday to stop using social media and to stop discussing a criminal case against him. Stone refused comment; Gaetz couldn’t be reached.
The Palm Beach County Republican Party is so sensitive to criticisms of the president that members were worried about inviting South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham to keynote a Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in March.
“Graham had been critical of the president and there was the same concern,” Barnett said, noting that Graham didn’t make a scene. But Scaramucci made it clear that he could be a problem.
“We felt we had no choice,” Barnett said.