x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

The slick charmer now in charge of getting Donald Trump's message out

He grew up poor and became very rich, which makes Anthony Scaramucci exactly the sort of alpha male with which the president has filled his White House

Anthony Scaramucci lasted just 10 days as White House communications director, with his spell ending before the end of July. His tenure was dominated by the fall-out from an expletive-laden rant to a magazine journalist.  Zach Gibson / Bloomberg
Anthony Scaramucci lasted just 10 days as White House communications director, with his spell ending before the end of July. His tenure was dominated by the fall-out from an expletive-laden rant to a magazine journalist. Zach Gibson / Bloomberg

It is easy to see why Donald Trump would be impressed by Anthony Scaramucci, a slick financier who went from blue-collar New York roots to attend Harvard Law School before making millions of dollars on Wall Street as a hedge fund manager.

By the time his name emerged as a contender for a role in the Trump administration earlier this year, the hedge fund he founded was worth $11 billion.

It makes him exactly the sort of alpha male with which the president has filled his White House.

However, his early life on Long Island lacked the advantages of Mr Trump’s childhood. Neither of his parents went to college, and he shovelled snow and delivered newspapers for extra cash.

Read more: The southern belle with a tough streak takes over as Trump's press chief

After graduating he worked for Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs before founding Skybridge Capital.

The firm’s conferences in Las Vegas attracted sporting stars such as Magic Johnson and the singer Jewel, catapulting him into Mr Trump’s celebrity orbit.

The 53-year-old shares other characteristics with his new boss. He too was once a Democratic donor, helping raise money for Barack Obama, before the party’s growing criticism of Wall Street pushed him away.

The Mooch, as he is known, threw his weight behind Mr Trump’s unlikely bid for the presidency only after Jeb Bush withdrew from the Republican race but he rapidly emerged as a sharp-talking TV surrogate for the campaign.

That remains his most obvious qualification for the new job for he lacks other, deeper communications experience.

And he is thought to owe his position largely to his friendship with the president and the endorsement of the New York wing of the White House, led by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, much to the annoyance of other elements led by the populist Steve Bannon or the Republican apparatchik Reince Priebus.

Giving his first White House briefing after Sean Spicer's resignation, Mr Scaramucci insisted there was "no friction" between him and Mr Spicer or any of the other of the president's chief aides. And even if there were, he added, "I'm a business person, I know we won't always agree with each other and I can live with that."

He has not always been a Trump admirer either. While appearing on a a business show in 2015 he described Mr Trump as "another hack politician". Now he says the remark was "one of the biggest mistakes I made" and the president reminds of it "about every 15 minutes."

RELATED ARTICLES
Recommended