On Friday, White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, abruptly resigned from his post in President Trump’s administration. The reason for his sudden departure is apparently the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as the communications director. He seemingly objected to working with the Wall Street financier, who would have been directly underneath him.
What do we know about this man who’s causing a shake up in the West Wing?
Spicer wasn’t the only one to object to Scaramucci.
Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, and Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, also reportedly objected strongly to his appointment.
"This was a murdering of Reince and Bannon. They said Anthony would get this job over their dead bodies," said one top White House official according to Politico.
Scaramucci addressed the conflict during Friday’s White House briefing.
"There's been some speculation in the press about me and Reince, so I just want to talk about that very quickly," he said. "Reince and I have been personal friends for six years. We are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in a while, which is totally normal for brothers.
He also commented on Spicer reported objections to him—to the point that he would resign.
"I don’t have any friction with Sean, I don’t have any friction with Reince," Scaramucci said, though he also said, "We can all live" with a "little bit of friction" in the White House.
53-year-old Scaramucci—known as “The Mooch”—is a Wall Street hedge fund manager, as well as a top Republican fundraiser.
He originally Jeb Bush and Scott Walker before joining President Trump’s campaign in February 2016. After Trump had won the election, he joined the transition team. It was apparently hard to find him a position in the administration because of his business interests Most notably, SkyBridge Capital, a billion-dollar investment firm, he founded in 2005.
“The company had nearly $12 billion assets before he announced he was selling it to a Chinese firm earlier this year,” explains NBC News.
He Appeals to Trump's Middle Class Base
Scaramucci grew up in a working-class Italian family in Long Island, New York according to Scaramucci’s books, "Hopping over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure into Success,” his father was a construction worker. Success wasn’t handed to him on a golden platter; he had to work to fund his education.
"Coming from a middle-class Italian American family on Long Island, you were always fighting for people to take you seriously. When someone slighted you, you remembered it," he wrote. "Embarrassment and shame were the worst feelings of all,” he wrote in his book.
Kellyanne Conaway highlighted his middle-class background on her Twitter yesterday. She replied to a tweet of Michael Barbaro, a talk show host from the New York Times.
“The Mooch just air-kissed the White House press corp on his way out. Memorable.”
Conaway replied, “He/we learned this from our #Italian #Catholic Grandmothers. We overfeed people and say spontaneous novenas, too.”
He wasn’t always a Trump supporter.
Scaramucci fundraised for Barack Obama in 2008. However, he seemed to switch parties over Obama’s treatment of Wall Street. In the 2016 campaign, he threw his weight behind Governor Scott Walker and then Jeb Bush. At one point he even referred to Trump as a "hack" who's "anti-American" and said he doesn't like the way Trump talks about Women.
However, Trump seemed to discount this view in a tweet on Saturday morning, writing,
“In all fairness to Anthony Scaramucci, he wanted to endorse me 1st, before the Republican Primaries started, but didn't think I was running!
He caught President Trump’s attention when he went to bat against CNN.
In June, CNN published a story investigating “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”
Scaramucci was one of the men named in the article, and he threatened to sue CNN if they didn’t retract their story. After CNN retracted the story and the writers resigned, Scaramucci tweeted,
“@CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on."
Politico says President Trump “has been enamored with Scaramucci since he managed to get a retraction from CNN."
"Talks about it all the time," a White House source told Politico.
If you’d like to read more about this developing story, we’re giving you full coverage. You can read about Spicer’s replacement, how he feels about his replacement, and more about why Spicer left in the first place.