White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said the day after the Senate opened an uncertain debate on health care that people should not expect an immediate, comprehensive fix to the nation’s health care problems.
“If you’re expecting an instant panacea or an instant cure, it’s not going to be provided by anybody here in Washington,” Scaramucci said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday.
Scaramucci cast the current deliberations in Congress on repealing Obamacare as incremental steps on health care.
After several delays, Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to begin the floor debate on health care. By Tuesday night, the Senate had voted down a Republican plan to repeal and replace much of Obamacare.
They are expected on Wednesday to continue the health care debate, and it is unclear what a final bill could look like.
Scaramucci seemed to dismiss the nuances of the debate and advised senators to move forward with something on health care.
“Don’t focus on the micro nature of this today if you’re a senator,” Scaramucci said.
He lamented not being able to push through a major overhaul on health care, and said “we have to start with incrementalism” on the issue because of the “webs in Washington.”
As for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom President Donald Trump has publicly complained about and left open the possibility of firing, Scaramucci said he advised all Cabinet members to “have a tough skin.”
Asked if Trump had talked directly with Sessions, Scaramucci said, “I don’t know the answer.”
A growing chorus of Republicans has backed Sessions, who has begun to move the Justice Department away from Obama-era policies on several fronts, including pushing for tougher sentencing, and most recently moved to pressure so-called sanctuary cities.
Besides facing opposition from his own party, Trump has also demonstrated a willingness to move against one of his earliest prominent supporters. Scaramucci, however, denied that Trump was demanding loyalty in exchange for returning none back.
“He is a symmetrical loyalist for sure,” Scaramucci said. “If you take care of him, he’s going to take care of you.”
Turning to his own role as the new communications chief, Scaramucci spoke at length about his desire to tamp down on leaks coming from the White House. He said he knew he could not eliminate the leaks entirely, but said he could dial them back.
Scaramucci denied former White House spokesman Michael Short’s exit on Tuesday was due to leaking. He denied further that it was even his decision. Scaramucci, who said he reports directly to the President, said “somebody above my rank” suggested Short be fired.
When asked if the higher-ranking person was Trump, Scaramucci deferred and said he was “getting so subtle and surgical” with his answers.