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Sekulow, Scaramucci Say Trump Isn't Thinking About Pardoning Anybody

Trump’s new communications director and one of his attorneys insisted on Sunday that Trump was not thinking about pardoning himself or anyone else on his team.
Image: U.S. President Donald Trump waits to take the stage during a Made in America product showcase in the East Room of the White House July 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump at a Made in America product showcase at the White House on July 17.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Donald Trump's new White House communications director and one of his attorneys insisted on Sunday that Trump was not thinking about pardoning himself, members of his family or anyone else in connection with the Russia investigation.

"The president is thinking about pardoning nobody," freshly-minted White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said on Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

"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," he said.

"It is a complete bogus and nonsensical thing," he later added, referring to allegations of any collusion between Trump's team and Russia operatives.

Scaramucci's remarks follow a report in the Washington Post last week claiming that Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon family members, aides and himself in connection with the investigation. The report also claimed that Trump's lawyers have been discussing Trump's power to pardon among themselves. Trump lawyer John Dowd denied the claims in the report.

Trump himself tweeted about his power to pardon, saying in a post on Saturday, "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."

But Scaramucci did not deny that Trump had discussed the issue of pardons, saying in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that he and Trump talked about it "last week."

Related: Can the President Pardon Himself?

"I'm in the Oval Office with the president last week, we're talking about that. He brought that up, he said but he doesn't have to be pardoned there's nobody around him that has to be pardoned he was just making the statement about the power of pardon," he said.

"The president does not need to pardon himself and the reason he doesn't need to pardon himself is he hasn't done nothing wrong," he said.

And Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told ABC's "This Week" that the issue was "not on the table" and that the president's legal team has not been researching the power to pardon.

"We're not researching the issue because the issue of pardons is not on the table. There's nothing to pardon from," Sekulow said.

"I want to be clear on this ... we have not and continue to not have conversations with the president of the United States regarding pardons. Pardons have not been discussed and pardons are not on the table," he added.

The Constitution grants the president an absolute pardon power for federal offenses. The president may even legally do so before anyone has been charged with a crime or before any judicial proceeding regarding the acts is complete.

There is no court precedent as to whether a president could theoretically pardon himself.

Scaramucci, who was an transition official in the Trump campaign and Wall Street financier, was named as White House communications director on Friday, where he took the podium during the day's press briefing. Scaramucci's new role came as Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary Friday morning.

On "Fox News Sunday," Scaramucci said he hoped to begin "an era of a new good feeling" and "hit a cultural reset button."

He also vowed to take "drastic action" to stop the leaks coming out of the White House.

"We have to get the leaks stopped," he said. "What's going on right now is a high level of unprofessionalism, and it's not serving the president."

Speaking of his Friday appearance at the press briefing, Scaramucci on Sunday addressed Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was promoted to press secretary in the wake of Spicer's resignation.

"The only thing I ask Sarah, Sarah, if you're watching — I love the hair and makeup person that we had on Friday, so I'd like to continue to use the hair and makeup person," he said.

Scaramucci later tweeted that "for the record" he was referencing his own hair and makeup needs, not Sanders'.

"I need all the help I can get!" he posted.