Former White House spokesman Anthony Scaramucci says he donated to Capital Gazette victims fundraiser

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is among the thousands of people who have donated to fundraisers supporting the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting.

Scaramucci donated to the Capital Gazette Families Fund as part of an event Denisa Protani organized Sunday at Fado Irish Pub in Annapolis, she said. She declined to say how much he donated.

During an interview with Annapolis radio station WNAV 1430, Scaramucci spoke of the importance of the country’s free press in the context of the Capital Gazette shooting. A gunman opened fire on the newsroom June 28, killing five staff members: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

“It was just super important that we recognize the tragedy,” Scaramucci said in the interview, “not only on the human scale, which is obviously so devastating for these families, but also on the symbolic scale as it relates to America’s journalists and how important it is that we do everything we can to maintain the institution of the free press and the commitment to the First Amendment.”

Protani, a Baltimore Sun reader rewards manager, said she wanted to host a benefit event to support the Capital Gazette and others in the news industry after the shooting. The event included music from five bands, including White House correspondent Brian Karem’s band.

Protani said Karem, her friend, contacted her after the shooting to ask how he could help.

“He sent me a message and said, ‘What can I do?’” Protani said. “Brian just wanted to jump in and help.”

Scaramucci said in the interview with WNAV that he became close with Karem during his time in the White House, and the correspondent asked Scaramucci to support the cause.

“When Brian called me and asked me if I would consider making a donation, and I said, ‘Absolutely, my wife and I are very glad to do it,’” Scaramucci said.

Protani’s event raised more than $10,000, she said.

Scaramucci, who was White House communications director for 10 days in 2017, declined in the radio interview to disclose how much he donated to the fundraiser. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

His comments in support of a free press contrast with the frequent anti-media rhetoric of Trump, who has often referred to journalists as “enemies of the people.”

The Capital Gazette is owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan


UPDATES:

Update: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday This article has been updated to reflect that Scaramucci donated to a benefit at Fado in Annapolis to support the Capital Gazette Families Fund.

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