Anthony Scaramucci (/skærəˈmuːtʃiː/, ska-rə-MOOch-chee; born January 6, 1964), nicknamed "The Mooch", is an American financier, entrepreneur, and political consultant who briefly served as the White House Director of Communications from July 21 to July 31, 2017.
Scaramucci worked at Goldman Sachs' investment banking, equities, and private wealth management divisions between 1989 and 1996. After leaving Goldman Sachs, he founded Oscar Capital Management, and in 2005, he founded the investment firm SkyBridge Capital.
On July 21, 2017, Scaramucci was appointed White House Communications Director. He began work on July 25, although he had not yet been sworn in. Days into the job, Scaramucci provoked controversy after an expletive-laden interview with The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, in which he made obscene and strongly derogatory statements about several members of the Trump administration. Ten days after the announcement of his appointment, he was fired by President Donald Trump on the recommendation of the new White House Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly. He is a recurring guest on the sports/comedy podcast Pardon My Take presented by Barstool Sports and was a "Fake HouseGuest" on Celebrity Big Brother 2.
Scaramucci was born into an Italian-American family on January 6, 1964, on Long Island, New York, where he was raised in Port Washington. He is the son of Marie DeFeo Scaramucci and Alexander Scaramucci, who was a construction worker. His paternal grandfather Alessandro Scaramucci immigrated to the United States from Gualdo Tadino, Umbria. He had a middle-class upbringing. He has an older brother, David, and a sister, Susan. Scaramucci graduated in 1982 from Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School in Port Washington, where he served as student council president. He earned a B.A. in economics at Tufts University and a J.D. at Harvard Law School. Scaramucci credits his time and education at Harvard Law School as a springboard for his career in finance. Scaramucci has never practiced law.
Career in investment banking
After graduating from law school, Scaramucci began his career at Goldman Sachs in 1989, in the Investment Banking division. A year later he was fired, then rehired two months later in the Equities division. Later, he worked in Private Wealth Management. He left Goldman in 1996 to start a new hedge fund.
Oscar Capital Management
Scaramucci left Goldman in 1996 to launch Oscar Capital Management with his colleague Andrew Boszhardt. In 2001, Oscar Capital was sold to Neuberger Berman, and upon Neuberger Berman's sale to Lehman Brothers in 2003, Scaramucci served as a managing director in the firm's Investment Management division.
In 2005, Scaramucci founded SkyBridge Capital, a global alternative investment firm. Scaramucci was the chairman of the SkyBridge Alternatives "SALT" Conference, launched in 2009 and held in Las Vegas every spring.
In 2011, Scaramucci received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award New York Award in the Financial Services category, and in 2016 was ranked #85 in Worth magazine's "Power 100: The 100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance".
In May 2014, SkyBridge licensed the rights to Wall Street Week, a financial television news program formerly hosted by Louis Rukeyser on PBS. Scaramucci hosted the show. Broadcast rights were transferred to Fox Broadcasting Company in 2016.
On January 17, 2017, SkyBridge announced a majority stake sale to RON Transatlantic EG and HNA Capital (U.S.) Holding, a Chinese conglomerate with close ties to China's Communist Party. With the announcement, Scaramucci stepped down from his co-management role and ended his affiliation with SkyBridge and SALT. In April 2018, it was announced that Scaramucci would be returning to SkyBridge after the deal with HNA Group had collapsed due to the lack of approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an inter-agency government committee. Although the deal was called off, the two firms may strike a deal for HNA to market SkyBridge's products in China.
Career in politics
Scaramucci supported the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In 2008, Scaramucci also served as a fundraiser for President Barack Obama. In September 2010, however, Scaramucci asked Obama at a CNBC Town Hall meeting when he was going to "stop whacking Wall Street like a piñata".
Scaramucci has tweeted at various times that he has "always been for strong gun control laws", and that "Republicans should support gay marriage".
He served as the national finance co-chair for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
In 2015, on a Fox Business Network television appearance, Scaramucci called Trump a "hack politician" whose rhetoric is "anti-American and very, very divisive." He further warned Trump to "cut it out now", and "stop all this crazy rhetoric." In December 2015, Scaramucci criticized Trump's call for a border wall between Mexico and the U.S. He also criticized Trump for "making a fundamental mistake of trying to blame all of Islam and all Muslims for what is the ideology and the actions of a minority".
Ahead of the 2016 election, Scaramucci tweeted that he hoped Hillary Clinton would be the next president. During the 2016 presidential election, Scaramucci first endorsed Scott Walker and later Jeb Bush. In May 2016, after both Walker and Bush had withdrawn from the race, Scaramucci signed on to Donald Trump's political campaign by joining the Trump Finance Committee. In November 2016, he was appointed to President-elect Trump's Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.
In August 2019, Scaramucci said that he no longer supported the reelection of Donald Trump as US president. He was critical of Trump's divisive statements, and of the president's visits to places where mass shootings occurred.
Nomination to Office of Public Liaison
On January 12, 2017, Scaramucci was named Assistant to President Trump and director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs. On January 23, he told New York magazine: the "thing I have learned about these people in Washington is they have no money. So what happens when they have no fucking money is they write about what seat they are in and what the title is. Fucking congressmen act like that. They are fucking jackasses".
Scaramucci attended the World Economic Forum in Davos January 16–17 as the representative for the Trump transition team. Part of his mission was to reassure attendees about the incoming Trump administration. Following Chinese President Xi Jinping, he gave a talk warning against protectionism and championing free trade. He also met with Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, to discuss future joint investments. The Fund was under U.S. sanctions at the time. On January 19, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ben Cardin expressed to Treasury Secretary-Designate Steve Mnuchin their concerns of possible sanctions violations involving Scaramucci's discussions with Dmitriev. Mnuchin forwarded their concerns to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Fox Business reported on January 31, 2017, that "Scaramucci's delayed appointment underscores some of the tensions building inside the Trump White House ... as various aides and advisers continue to jockey for his attention and to retain and expand their power". According to Politico, on January 31, 2017, with Scaramucci's appointment still pending approval by the United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE), Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus called Scaramucci "to tell him he should pull out of consideration". They reported that Priebus opposed Scaramucci's appointment because of Scaramucci's stake in Skybridge Capital. Several senior White House officials questioned the significance of any internal feuding in Scaramucci's appointment delay, citing instead the months required to conclude his sale of SkyBridge. Reuters reported on February 1 that Scaramucci would not get the director role. In a February 2017 New York magazine article, Priebus was quoted as saying rumors that he interfered with the hiring were "not true".
On March 6, 2017, the White House announced the appointment of Ideagen founder and former CEO George Sifakis as director for the Office of Public Liaison, instead of Scaramucci. The next day, Politico reported that "White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is still considering offering financier Anthony Scaramucci a role" in the administration.
Export–Import Bank of the United States
Effective June 19, 2017, Scaramucci was named senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the U.S. Export-Import Bank. He was also still under consideration for a post as ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
CNN retraction and apology
On June 26, 2017, three network investigative journalists—Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau, and Lex Haris—resigned from CNN after the network retracted a story that connected Scaramucci to a $10 billion Russian investment fund. CNN issued an apology to Scaramucci (who accepted the apology), with the network saying the online story (which appeared on CNN's website and was not aired on television) did not meet its editorial standards. Scaramucci said the original story was not true; CNN did not say the story was false, but said that it "wasn't solid enough" to be published.
White House Communications Director
On July 21, 2017, President Donald Trump appointed Scaramucci White House Communications Director, to take office on July 25. The White House announcement of Scaramucci said he would "report directly to the President" rather than to the White House chief of staff, as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had. On the day that Scaramucci's appointment was announced, Spicer resigned. The New York Times reported that he had done so after advising Trump that he "vehemently disagreed" with the appointment of Scaramucci. Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus also had "vehement objections" to his hiring.
In a July 26, 2017, phone call to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, Scaramucci said he would fire everyone on the White House communications staff if Lizza did not reveal the source of leaked information about who had attended a dinner with Trump. Scaramucci also accused Priebus of being "a leaker" who had committed "a felony", referred to Priebus as "a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac", and said that Priebus "would resign soon". Priebus did not respond to Lizza's request for comment. Scaramucci also said "I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock" in an apparent reference to his lack of interest in media attention. The following day, Scaramucci tweeted, "I sometimes use colorful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for Donald Trump's agenda".
During the interview and in a tweet immediately afterward, Scaramucci said that he had contacted or would be contacting the FBI and the Department of Justice, asking them to investigate Priebus for allegedly "leaking" his financial-disclosure form to a Politico reporter. Scaramucci later deleted the tweet. Lizza said the form was obtained from publicly available data at the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
On July 28, Priebus's resignation as chief of staff was announced; Priebus said that he had resigned on July 27. Also on July 28, Trump announced that he had named retired general John F. Kelly as his new chief of staff.
On July 31, 2017, Trump dismissed Scaramucci from his role as communications director on the recommendation of Kelly, who wanted him removed because he did not think Scaramucci was disciplined and believed Scaramucci had lost his credibility. As one of his first acts after being sworn in as Chief of Staff, Kelly reportedly invited Scaramucci to his office and told him he was being let go. An official White House statement indicated that Scaramucci "will be leaving" his post "to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team". Scaramucci's tenure of six days, from his unofficial start date on July 25 through his departure on July 31, is the shortest in history for that position, breaking the former record of 11 days that had been held by Jack Koehler in the Reagan administration.
Scaramucci paid $100,000 to have SkyBridge Capital's logo and two cameo appearances in the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
He is the author of four books:
- Goodbye Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune Without Losing Your Soul (2010)
- The Little Book of Hedge Funds: What You Need to Know About Hedge Funds but the Managers Won't Tell You (2012)
- Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure Into Success (2016)
- Trump, the Blue-Collar President (2018)
Scaramucci is the vice chair of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board and a trustee of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Scaramucci was a member of the New York City Financial Services Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2012.
In April 2016, Scaramucci and two other New York Mets fans bought Mike Piazza's jersey from the September 21, 2001 game against the Atlanta Braves, the first professional baseball game played in New York following the 9/11 attacks, in which Piazza hit a game-winning 8th-inning home run. The jersey was purchased in a private auction for $365,000, the highest price ever paid for a modern-day jersey, which Scaramucci described as having "tremendous artistic symbolism". The new owners want the jersey accessible to fans, so it will be displayed on a rotating basis among the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Citi Field, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
On October 2, 2017, two months after he was fired as White House Communications Director, Scaramucci launched the online media venture the Scaramucci Post. At a press conference, Scaramucci said that "...we have no idea what the Scaramucci Post is and neither do you. But, we launched it today and we launched with great fanfare and so we'll have to see how the whole thing unfolds." Later that month, the Post was criticized for posting a Twitter poll asking "How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?". The tweet was posted by Scaramucci's business partner Lance Laifer without the approval of Scaramucci, who was in London at the time; when he found out about the tweet, Scaramucci was reportedly furious at Laifer. The tweet was soon taken down, and Scaramucci subsequently wrote that "If anyone was offended by this act, you have both my sincere personal apology and commitment that it will never happen again", and pledged to donate $25,000 to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Subsequently, however, the Post tweeted that they had changed their mind on the poll, defending their decision to post it and accusing their critics of "laziness and mob-mentality", claiming that the poll was designed to illustrate that memory was fading about the death of 6 million Jews.
On November 3, 2017, Scaramucci became a recurring guest on the critically acclaimed Pardon My Take podcast, where he talks baseball, politics, and about his personal life.
In June 2018, Scaramucci was a guest on the podcast Right on Point, where he discussed politics, baseball, and more.
On January 13, 2019, it was announced Scaramucci would be a participant in the second American season of the reality show competition Celebrity Big Brother; although, in a twist, it was revealed he was a Fake HouseGuest on the show.
In June 2016, Scaramucci joined the Board of Advisors of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, located at his alma mater of Tufts University. In early November 2017, over 240 Tufts students, faculty, and alumni signed an online petition calling for Scaramucci's removal from the board. One Fletcher graduate student, Camilo Caballero, wrote a pair of op-eds in Tufts' independent student newspaper, The Tufts Daily, on November 6 and 13. On November 21, 2017, lawyers representing Scaramucci sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Daily, alleging that the op-eds contained factual inaccuracies which attempted to defame him. The letter demanded that Caballero and the Daily issue a retraction and an apology for its allegedly "defamatory" statements, threatening a lawsuit if the paper did not comply within five business days. The Daily opted to keep the full text of the editorials on its website while publishing publicly the cease-and-desist letter on the morning of November 27, 2017. That evening, members of the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate, the main student government body at Tufts University, publicly called on the university to remove Scaramucci from the Fletcher School's Board of Advisors. On November 28, 2017, Scaramucci resigned his position.
His second marriage is with Deidre Ball. Ball worked in investor relations for SkyBridge Capital until Scaramucci sold the firm. The couple first dated in 2011 and married on July 11, 2014, after having their first child together in early 2014. Scaramucci and Ball separated in early 2017. Ball filed for divorce from Scaramucci in early July 2017 when she was eight or nine months pregnant with their second child, to whom she gave birth on July 24, 2017, but she dropped the divorce case on November 29, 2017. The couple worked out their marital problems and in September 2018 began a Radio.com podcast titled "Mooch and the Mrs.", in which they discuss their world view from opposite political stances, while managing their relationship.
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