Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has defended himself as a “gay rights activist” after being dropped from a Super Bowl ad originally planned to air during Sunday’s championship game.
Scaramucci, who was fired from the White House after 10 days, told the gossip news network TMZ that T-Mobile pulled the commercial over “politics.”
“We’re in a very polarized society right now, so my guess is that’s a combination of things,” he said on Friday, claiming he doesn’t know why the ad spot was pulled. “But the weird thing about it is that I’ve been a gay rights activist my whole life. Because I sided with Trump on the election, I guess I don’t get any credit for that.”
“I’m actually a mixed bag politically and quite centrist,” Scaramucci continued.
This isn’t the first time that the former Goldman Sachs investment banker has pointed to his alleged support for the LGBTQ community. He made an identical claim in a November 2016 interview with the BBC, citing purported donations to the Human Rights Campaign and the pro-LGBTQ American Unity PAC.
The assertion of a pro-equality record isn’t entirely off base. Accompanied by HRC president Chad Griffin and former Vice President Joe Biden, Scaramucci appeared at a roundtable discussion in 2016 on furthering LGBTQ rights in the workplace.
He claimed advancing queer and trans rights is “the right investment” for businesses.
But “The Mooch” has repeatedly defended his former employer’s stance on LGBTQ issues. Scaramucci, an early supporter of Trump’s campaign, once claimed in a video tweeted by the Log Cabin Republicans that the Commander-in-Chief is the “first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay rights stance.”
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has repeatedly rolled back LGBTQ rights from the Oval Office: from his attempted ban on transgender people serving openly in the military to rescinding Obama-era guidance on protections for trans students.
Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was reportedly reshuffled to allow healthcare workers to discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of faith.
Scaramucci was originally scheduled to appear in a “fake news”-themed Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile, one TMZ claims he would have earned six figures to star in. But the phone carrier allegedly reneged on the deal at the last minute, just hours before a Vanity Fair article was published in which he refers to former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus as “Rancid Penis.”
In the typically outlandish interview, Scaramucci calls former Chief Advisor Steve Bannon the “cock of the swamp,” “the creature from the Black Lagoon,” and “the pig in George Orwell’s Animal Farm that stands on his two legs the minute he gets power.”
The former White House spokesperson, though, left the door open for future collaborations with T-Mobile: “Maybe next year. There’s always next year.”