- Hollis Johnson
It only took Anthony Scaramucci 10 days to go from getting hired as President Donald Trump’s new communications director to suddenly looking for a new job.
The Long Island native has a long history on Wall Street, and was an early, vocal backer of President Donald Trump.
Scaramucci’s appointment to the White House set off a firestorm of controversy that included the resignation of embattled press secretary Sean Spicer, the ousting of chief of staff Reince Priebus, and an expletive-filled interview that ultimately paved the way to his downfall.
Scaramucci has long been a household name on Wall Street, but was relatively unknown elsewhere until his wild ride at the White House. Here’s a primer:
He was hired, fired and then rehired at Goldman Sachs
- Reuters/ Lucas Jackson
Scaramucci worked at Goldman Sachs for some time after graduating from Harvard Law School. He was even fired before being rehired in a sales role, he recounted to reporters several years ago.
He later founded SkyBridge Capital, which invests rich people’s money in hedge funds
- Thomson Reuters
Scaramucci later ran SkyBridge Capital, a fund of hedge funds firm. It basically invests wealthy people’s money into hedge funds, private investment vehicles that make bets on the markets.
Scaramucci had heralded SkyBridge as a way for America’s dentists and doctors – who might not have enough money to access hedge funds directly – to put their money in the hands of hedge fund titans.
Still, the firm grew to billions in assets, much of that from relationships with Wall Street banks that directed their rich clients’ money into the fund.
He has a love-hate relationship with the press
- Screenshot, CNBC
Scaramucci loves media attention and courts it like a pro (including from Business Insider). Sometimes, it is to promote books, like one he wrote on entrepreneurship called “Hopping over the Rabbit Hole.” He has also hosted a TV show called “Wall Street Week” on Fox Business.
But he was accused of threatening a columnist after he wrote something Scaramucci didn’t like. Felix Salmon, a financial columnist, wrote for Reuters about his experience.
Here’s Salmon back in 2011:
“I’ve seen another side to Scaramucci: my post about his wine tasting was followed by a series of irate phone calls and emails from him, not only to me but also to any and every senior Thomson Reuters executive he could think of. It’s the steely competitor underneath the glad-handing exterior.”
More recently, he reportedly threatened to sue CNN over a story that it later retracted. When it did, and three staffers were let go, he tweeted “.@CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.”
Scaramucci became the face of the hedge fund industry’s biggest Las Vegas confab
- Thomson Reuters
Scaramucci also ran SALT, one of the hedge fund industry’s flashiest conferences.
Held annually at Las Vegas’s ritzy Bellagio, it’s a gathering of hedge fund managers, marketers and all sorts of sales people convened to hobnob, listen to hedge fund managers that SkyBridge invests in and party. The Killers even performed one year.
He has been one of Trump’s biggest proponents on Wall Street
- Pool/Getty Images
Scaramucci has been one of Trump’s biggest backers on Wall Street, and is not shy about it. He has touted the president at hedge fund events, on Twitter, and on broadcast TV.
“I’m not talking about the rhetorical flourishes or the problems he has had,” Scaramucci said in the interview. “He’s admitted he said some things he regretted. But if he says he’s going to build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it … my guess is he’s going to build the wall and the Mexicans are going to pay for it. I think that’s going to happen.”
Scaramucci wanted Trump to kill a law that could hurt his fund business — but it was enacted anyway
- Wall Street Week screenshot
Scaramucci was an outspoken critic of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which required financial advisers to put their clients’ interests ahead of theirs. It’s a threat to fund-of-fund businesses because they pay referral fees to financial advisers.
Scaramucci had argued the rule would hurt investors because it would supposedly make it harder for people to get retirement advice; he argued, among other things, that advisers wouldn’t be able to afford to service low-balance accounts.
Two senators said they would investigate Scaramucci after he met with a sanctioned Russian fund
- Thomson Reuters
Two senators earlier this year said they would push for an investigation into whether Scaramucci violated sanctions with Russia. That’s after it came out that Scaramucci talked about potential joint investments with a sanctioned Russian fund, Bloomberg News reported.
As Bloomberg reported in January: Scaramucci’s “meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a $10 billion state-run investment vehicle, is the first public contact between the incoming administration and Kremlin-backed business.”
Scaramucci sold SkyBridge earlier this year to a Chinese company so he could work for Trump, but conflicts in that sale prevented him from taking on a job
- Thomson Reuters
Scaramucci sold SkyBridge to a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group, which has ties to the country’s Communist party. That sale – and the conflicts – initially bungled his chances at a Trump administration job earlier this year, according to the New York Times.
Trump invites him to the White House
Sean Spicer, who had been rumored on the outs for months, immediately resigned as press secretary in protest. Sarah Huckabee Sanders then took his job.
The Mooch immediately purged his old tweets
- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
In his first days at the White House, Scaramucci immediately deleted things he tweeted before he took on the role that were at odds with Trump’s policies.
Even among criticism of attempts to whitewash his past, Scaramucci defended the decision by saying that his old views were “a distraction” from his current job representing the president.
“When I made the decision to take this job, my politics and my political ideas do not matter at all,” Scaramucci said. “What matters is that I am supporting – subordinating all of that to the president’s agenda.”
Scaramucci started his White House gig with a bang
Scaramucci took to the White House podium for the first time on July 21, holding colorful back-and-forth exchanges with reporters and offering up a “decidedly Trump-ian” press briefing complete with identical hand gestures.
He said multiple times that he loves Trump, likened then-chief of staff Reince Priebus to a brother despite well-documented friction between the pair, and blew a kiss to reporters as he left the room.
He gave an infamous, profanity-laden interview to The New Yorker
Scaramucci ignited a days-long controversy after giving an expletive-filled interview to The New Yorker that was published July 27. He unloaded to reporter Ryan Lizza about leakers within the Trump administration, accusing Priebus of telling reporters about a White House dinner attended by Scaramucci, Trump, Fox News executive Bill Shine, and host Sean Hannity, among others.
Scaramucci demanded Lizza reveal his source, then vowed to fire the entire White House communications staff.
“What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves. You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”
Scaramucci continued, calling Priebus a “f—— paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” and imitating him: “‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f—— thing and see if I can c–k-block these people the way I c–k-blocked Scaramucci for six months.'”
He then pivoted to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, accusing him of using his White House role for self-serving purposes.
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c—,” Scaramucci said. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f—— strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”
His rant caused serious ripples throughout the White House
Scaramucci’s rant – along with his suggestions that the FBI investigate Trump’s rivals – quickly managed to ruffle feathers in the White House, where numerous officials saw it as an unprecedented attempt for Trump’s team to control the Department of Justice.
Not long after Scaramucci’s interview with the New Yorker, Priebus resigned and Trump made retired Marine General John Kelly, who was serving as Homeland Security secretary, his new chief of staff.
Family drama reached a peak
- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Not long after the interview, news surfaced that Scaramucci’s wife, Deidre Ball, filed for divorce a few weeks earlier. According to The New York Post, Ball named her husband’s closeness to Trump as the main reason for the divorce.
Scaramucci missed the birth of the couple’s second son to attend Trump’s speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree on July 24.
- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Ten days into his job as the White House communications director, Scaramucci was unexpectedly let go by Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly.
It is still not clear whether Scaramucci will be moved to another branch of the White House or fired entirely, but his short turnaround caused ripples of surprise among political circles.
Many wait to see who will take Scaramucci’s place as the White House’s new communications director – and what “The Mooch” does next.