Meet Trump’s new communications director – The Hill
President Trump’s decision on Friday to install Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House communications director sparked a sudden shakeup of the president’s senior staff, driving out press secretary Sean Spicer and elevating his deputy to take his place.
Spicer’s resignation was reportedly prompted by Scaramucci’s appointment, which he reportedly told Trump was a mistake.
But for a president who is widely known to value loyalty among his aides and advisers, and whose White House has for months faced a steady trickle of leaks, Scaramucci’s appointment was a clear move to install a steadfast ally and Washington outsider, who has a record of defending Trump in the public arena.
Here are five things to know about the new White House communications director:
He got his start on Wall Street
Scaramucci is the latest Goldman Sachs alum to join Trump’s administration. He began his career at the finance giant after graduating from Harvard Law School, where he was hired, fired and rehired within the span of a year.
He started his own hedge fund, Skybridge Capital, in 2005 and remained a co-managing partner at the firm until January, when it was sold to the investment company RON Transatlantic and HNA Capital, the financial services arm of the Chinese HNA Group.
He didn’t start as a Trump supporter
Scaramucci supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker before the 2016 Republican presidential primaries ever got underway. And after Walker ended his campaign, Scaramucci threw his support behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, serving as the national finance chairman for his campaign.
Scaramucci also spoke critically of Trump in the early days of the presidential race, once calling him a “hack politician” on Fox Business Network and savaging the real estate mogul for his bombastic and controversial rhetoric.
“It’s anti-American, it’s very divisive. And I’ll tell you who he’s going to be president of. You can tell Donald I said this: the Queen’s County bullies association,” he said. “You gotta cut it out now and stop all of this crazy rhetoric spinning everybody’s heads around.”
Scaramucci offered a profuse public apology to the president for those remarks on Friday, chalking up his past comments about Trump to the fact that he was “an inexperienced person in the world of politics.”
“One of the biggest mistakes I made, because I was an inexperienced person in the world of politics. I was supporting another candidate. I should have never said that about him,” Scaramucci said during a news conference at the White House. “So Mr. President, if you’re listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that.”
He has been eyed for multiple jobs in the Trump White House
Scaramucci, who acted as a top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign on Wall Street and served on his presidential transition team, was widely expected to land in the White House as the head of the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Scaramucci acknowledged on Friday that he was initially let down by the fact that he was not named to a White House job right off the bat.
“Was I disappointed? Yes, I said that candidly that I was disappointed. But I love the president and I’m very, very loyal to the president and I love the mission that the president has.”
Reports surfaced in June that the financier would be tapped as the ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Later that month, however, Scaramucci joined the Export-Import Bank as a senior vice president and chief strategy officer. The agency is responsible for extending credit to foreign buyers of American goods and services.
He wants to “de-escalate” the White House’s tensions with the press
Scaramucci told reporters during his news conference Friday that he wants to “de-escalate” tensions between the Trump administration and the press.
After all, he reminded reporters, he used to host “Wall Street Week” on Fox Business Network and has “empathy for journalists.”
But Scaramucci’s comments also echoed Trump’s accusations that the media treats him unfairly, saying he hoped to “de-escalate” bias.
“I sort of don’t like the fake news, and if you said to me that there’s some media bias out there – if you want me to be as candid as I would like to be with you guys – there feels like there’s a little bit of media bias,” Scaramucci said.
“And, so, what we hope we can do is de-escalate that and turn that around and let’s get the message from the president get out there to the American people.”
He’s a prolific tweeter
Much like his boss, Scaramucci is a fan of Twitter and he hasn’t been afraid to make his opinions known on the site.
Shortly after he was named White House communications director on Friday, Scaramucci began deleting old tweets that didn’t necessarily align with the views of the Trump administration.
He announced the decision publicly on Saturday, saying that his “views evolved” and that he did not want past tweets to be a “distraction.”
Full transparency: I’m deleting old tweets. Past views evolved & shouldn’t be a distraction. I serve @POTUS agenda & that’s all that matters
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 22, 2017
Scaramucci also encouraged Trump’s own Twitter habit on Friday. The social media site, he said, allows the president to reach voters directly and showcase his personality.
“To me, I think it’s been very effective use of reaching the American public directly and so listen, I welcome him continuing to do that,” he said during his news conference. “I think it’s very, very important for him to express his identity.”
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