Scaramucci heaps praise on Trump in White House debut

Anthony Scaramucci made his debut at the White House press briefing on Friday, just hours after the surprise news of Sean Spicer's resignation as press secretary.

Scaramucci, a frequent presence on Fox News, showed off some of the traits that may have won him the job as President Trump's White House communications director.

He frequently praised Trump, saying he loved the president, and that he was "very loyal" to him.

"I love the mission that the president has since the early days of the campaign," Scaramucci said.

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"I grew up in the middle class, and so there's a struggle out there. The president saw that before I did. I wish I could tell you I saw it before him, but he taught it to me."

Scaramucci in recent months had become one of the most vocal defenders of Trump and his family. During an appearance on CNN in April, he compared the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to Alexander Hamilton.

His effusive praise for the president was on full display during the briefing, as he pledged his commitment to Trump’s “America first” agenda and defended the president's use of Twitter.

“To me, I think it’s been very effective use of reaching the American public directly and so listen, I welcome him continuing to do that. I think it’s very, very important for him to express his identity.”

Scaramucci also praised the president on his competitive nature and athletic skills.

"He's the most competitive person I've ever met, okay? I've seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire. I've seen him at Madison Square Garden with a top coat on, he's standing in the key and he's hitting foul shots and swishing them. He sinks 3-foot putts," he said.

The former hedge fund manager also predicted the White House would score a victory in Congress on healthcare in the near future because "the president has really good karma."

"I predict the president will get a win in healthcare. That's my honest prediction, just because I've seen him in operation of the last 20 plus years. The president has really good karma, okay? And the world turns back to him," Scaramucci said.

Scaramucci, who makes frequent appearances on cable television, is the founder of the global investment firm Skybridge Capital and served on Trump's transition team.

At one point during the briefing he took the opportunity to apologize to the president for a 2015 comment on Fox Business Network, in which he called Trump a “hack politician.”

Trump, Scaramucci said, brings that comment up to him “every 15 seconds.”

“One of the biggest mistakes that I made is I was an unexperienced person in the world of politics, I was supporting another candidate, I should have never said that about him,” Scaramucci said.

“So, Mr. President, if you’re listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that.”

Scaramucci was appointed the White House communications director position on Friday, reportedly over the objections of Sean Spicer, who resigned as press secretary.

Spicer will stay on at the White House for a few weeks. He told The Associated Press he is leaving to allow the communications shop to have a "clean slate."

The press secretary had appeared to be on thin ice for months, with Trump reportedly frustrated by both his performance on the job and by the famous parodies of his briefings by Melissa McCarthy on "Saturday Night Live." 

By bringing in Scaramucci, Trump could be signaling a broader shakeup in the White House's operations.

Scaramucci quickly announced Friday that Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be taking over for Spicer as White House press secretary, moving up from the deputy position. She has been filling in for Spicer at press briefings for weeks.

After his performance, Scaramucci left the briefing room with a flourish, blowing a kiss to the press corps.