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Anthony Scaramucci: President Trump Is ‘Thinking About Pardoning Nobody’

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday morning that President Donald Trump is “thinking about pardoning nobody,” responding to questions about the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“The President’s thinking about pardoning nobody — because it has been coming up a lot. There’s an undercurrent of nonsensical stuff,” Scaramucci told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday when asked about Trump’s recent tweet about his pardoning power.

“While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted early Saturday.

Tapper referenced a Washington Post report that Trump has consulted advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and himself in connection with the investigation.

“This is the problem with the whole system,” Scaramucci said Sunday. “He’s the President of the United States. If I turn to one of my staff members at SkyBridge, I ask them a question, they run out to the news media and tell everything I’m thinking about, is that fair to the President?”

“The truth of the matter is that the President is not going to have to pardon anybody because the Russia thing is a nonsensical thing,” Scaramucci added.

Asked if Trump has the power to pardon himself, Scaramucci called it a “stupid hypothetical.”

“We haven’t even really looked into that, I don’t know. I’ve talked to Jay Sekulow about that because he’s a scholar,” Scaramucci said, referring to an attorney on Trump’s legal team.

In a separate Sunday interview on ABC News, Sekulow acknowledged that there is an ongoing “academic debate” over pardoning powers, but he said he has not discussed pardons with Trump, and he denied looking into it himself.

“While it makes for interesting academic decisions, let me tell you what the legal team is not doing,” Sekulow said. “We’re not researching the issue, because the issue of pardons is not on the table, there’s nothing to pardon from.”


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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com