Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci, who was the subject of a retracted CNN article claiming that he had secret meetings with a Russian spy, joins 'Fox & Friends' for one of his first interviews since the retraction.
Scaramucci reportedly received more than a few pats on the back from members of the administration at the wedding of Commerce Secretary Steven Mnuchin this weekend for taking CNN down a peg.
SCARAMUCCI: Was it fake news? I did meet with a person, I was at the World Economic Forum, I was in a restaurant. A person came over to me, shook my hand. I think a reporter snapped a picture. I think the first part of the fake news as Senior Trump Official or potential Senior Trump Official meeting with somebody from the Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
But that was not a "meeting", planned meeting--
SCARAMUCCI: --strategic meeting anything like that. It was really an interaction with him in a restaurant.
KILMEADE: What is your thought as you begin to find out that you might be that official? And that brief encounter was what they're talking about?
SCARAMUCCI: Well, first of all, I thought the whole thing was unfair. I think, you know, Senator Warren questioned Steve Mnuchin about it at his confirmation hearing. Again, it's more of this nonsense that goes on in Washington where you have the Scandals Incorporated. We're practicing the politics of personal destruction as opposed to serving the American people.
KILMEADE: But you were it. All the sudden you're the target.
SCARAMUCCI: I'm the target. But the flipside is I also know in my heart and in my soul I haven't done anything wrong. OK, so what ends up happening is if you've got good character--
SCARAMUCCI: --and you have a strong backbone you can hold yourself up against these people.
SCARAMUCCI: And that's exactly what I did.
EARHARDT: Why was it important for you to get a lawyer, threat them, say I might sue?
SCARAMUCCI: I think all of that stuff, Ainsley, was exaggerated. I had a couple of conversations with senior staff at CNN. I made it very clear to them that the story was not accurate and that it was a defamatory story. I reminded them about my legal background.
And there's a famous case called "New York Times" vs. Sullivan that you're talking about a public figure and you're saying something that's not truthful about the public figure, then they have a defamatory action against you.
SCARAMUCCI: And so it's clearly not true and it needed to be retracted. Otherwise, I think I needed to get more aggressive. But I didn't go to sue them or anything like that. I think that got a little bit overblown to be honest.
He also apeared on NewsMax to discuss the situation on Wednesday: