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The Trump White House: No Fandango! Fake News!

28/07/2017 14:07 | Updated 28 July 2017
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Let's get one thing clear: President Trump's newly appointed director of communications is called Anthony Scaramucci. He is not called Scaramouche, who figures in the Queen anthem Bohemian Rhapsody.

It follows, therefore, that any reference to 'doing the fandango' ('Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?') is clearly FAKE NEWS from the LYING PRESS! Scaramucci is not Scaramouche.

He is, on the other hand, His Master's Voice to a T. He is even better at 'locker-room talk' than the man he now serves. If you have a strong stomach, no objection to obscenity or gross sexual imagery, click here to read how he talks about his senior White House colleagues.

With a reporter. On the record. And then remind yourself: this is the director of communications for the President of the United States of America.

Like his boss, Mr Scaramucci (known as 'The Mooch') is a devoted user of Twitter. And he thinks that deleting from Twitter all the rude things he used to say about Donald Trump falls into the category 'full transparency'.

What he actually said (on Twitter, naturally) was: 'Full transparency: I'm deleting old tweets. Past views evolved & shouldn't be a distraction.' Translation: 'I am being fully transparent by concealing the truth about what I used to think.'

George Orwell, thou shouldst be alive today. Remember 1984? In Newspeak, the word 'blackwhite' meant to believe that black is white, to know that black is white, and to forget that one had ever believed the contrary.

So, in the spirit of Newspeak, you know, and I know, that Anthony Scaramucci is a Trump loyalist, has always been a Trump loyalist and we have never in our lives believed anything different.

We have never believed that in 2008 he donated to Barack Obama's election campaign. (OK, the donation is on record, but so what? FAKE NEWS!)

We never heard him describe Trump as a 'hack politician' and an 'inherited money dude from Queens County'. (OK, the TV clip is still available online, but hey, FAKE NEWS!)

And we never even saw, let alone remembered, his quickly deleted tweet in which he appeared to accuse his colleague, the White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, of a felony by leaking his (Scaramucci's) finances when in fact they were publicly available to anyone who knew where to look. MORE FAKE NEWS!

Unlike the unlamented Sean Spicer, Trump's former spokesman who has tumbled back into the black hole from which he should never have emerged, Scaramucci can be suave and silver-tongued. He also looks a bit like a younger version of Paulie Gualtieri from The Sopranos.

Perhaps you take the view that all this is simply an embarrassing sideshow. I'd be tempted to agree. Much more worrying than Mr Scaramucci is how the President will react to the humiliation just heaped upon him by his fellow-Republicans in the US Senate, three of whom refused to back his last-ditch attempt to roll back Obamacare and torpedoed one of his most dearly-beloved policy objectives.

Take a bow Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John McCain of Arizona. Millions of Americans who would otherwise have lost their health insurance salute you.

Those of us who do not live in the US can also spend the rest of the summer worrying about Mr Trump's continuing forays into foreign crises about which he appears to know nothing and understand less. Reports from Washington this week, for example, suggest he's hoping to provoke Iran into what he will seek to portray as a reneging on its obligations under the painstakingly-negotiated nuclear deal (in fact, it will be Washington doing the reneging, but hey, FAKE NEWS!).

And don't even mention the way he embarrassed himself and his entire administration, in the presence of the Lebanese prime minister, no less, by claiming that the Lebanese government is in the frontline of fighting ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hizbollah. (What do you mean, Hizbollah is in fact part of the Lebanese government coalition? FAKE NEWS!)

Do I sound as if I'm laughing? If so, I apologise. It is the terrified laughter you hear when a prisoner is blindfolded and led out of his cell with his hands tied behind his back. 'Hey. Are we going for a walk? Great!'

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