The Trump administration on Friday officially announced that Anthony Scaramucci—a former Goldman Sachs executive who describes himself simply as an “American entrepeneur”—will be the new White House communications director.
At an afternoon briefing, Scaramucci spoke with reporters for the first time and announced that Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be taking over as White House press secretary in the wake of Sean Spicer’s resignation earlier in the day. Spicer, according to reports, resigned from his post at least partially due to Trump’s decision to bring Scaramucci on board to lead the communication’s team.
Not widely known, here are at least a few things you should know about Scaramucci, including a few highlights from Friday’s briefing.
First of all, Scaramucci loves literature
In 2012, “The Mooch” tweeted, “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth,” and falsely attributed the quote to Mark Twain.
Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth. MarkTwain
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) June 15, 2012
A Strange Choice or Sound Judgement?
In tweet back in February 2012—which has since been deleted—Scaramucci referred to Trump as “odd” and said he has “no judgement.” On segment on Fox Business in 2015 he referred to Trump as a “hack politician” who was “un-American.” He also said, “I don’t like the way he talks about women.”
“The Mooch” also told Donald Trump to “bring it” after calling him “an inherited-money dude from Queens County.”
“I’ll tell you who he’s gonna be president of, you can tell Donald I said this: the Queens County Bullies Association,” Scaramucci added.
Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new communications secretary, called Trump a hack, and anti-American during the race. pic.twitter.com/suVgrDmO5H
— Mustapha Itani (@mustaphahitani) July 21, 2017
The Wall Street “Mooch”
Scaramucci worked at Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers before establishing his own hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital, in 2005. On Wall Street he was known by the nickname “The Mooch,” and he’s been criticized for shady hedge fund practices and his self-promotion habits.
Reportedly, no one wanted Trump to hire “The Mooch.” Top Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast they were “worried that the Scaramucci hiring would perpetuate the notion of ‘amateur hour’ in the West Wing.”
Scaramucci is reportedly in the process of wiping his Twitter account of comments he’s made in support of gun control, though some evidence remains:
Weirdly these are being deleted! But the Internet is forever, Anthony Scaramucci. pic.twitter.com/wYTeULnxMW
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 21, 2017
If the President Says It… It’s Not A Lie
When asked during Friday’s press conference what he thinks of President Trump’s claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, Scaramucci responded, “If the president said it, there’s probably some level of truth to it.”
“Huge, Enormous Respect for Steve Bannon”
Scaramucci, when asked about nature of his relationship with Steve Bannon: “He’s got a strong personality. I have a strong personality.” pic.twitter.com/lUtEtEj94S
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 21, 2017
Fusion‘s Hamilton Nolan noted that while “Scaramucci has a Harvard and Goldman Sachs pedigree…no one has ever accused him of being an investment genius; rather, he has built his career on a preternatural ability to schmooze, which is powered by a very genuine, almost pathological, need to be liked.”
Everything is fine in Trump’s White House. Everything is just fine.
While Trump currently has an historically low 36 percent approval rating, at his first press briefing Scaramucci declined to say the White House needs to change its approach.
“I think the ship is going in the right direction,” he said. “I think [Americans] really, really love the president, if you look at individual state-by-state polls the guy’s doing phenomenally well…The president is really well loved.
Scaramucci is for lovers
Scaramucci loves “loves”
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) July 21, 2017
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) July 21, 2017
“Loves” Trump With Very Off-Message Past
Scaramucci also expressed doubts about Trump’s planned border wall in 2015:
Walls don’t work. Never have never will. The Berlin Wall 1961-1989 don’t fall for it. pic.twitter.com/urKlDWAhdt
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) December 1, 2015
In addition to gun control, Scaramucci’s ideas about vaccines, the climate, and abortion are also out of line with those of the president:
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) July 21, 2017
The Air-Kiss Sign-Off
Leaving the podium from his first briefing Friday, “The Mooch” gave the press corps an air kiss. Of the gesture, author Steve Silberman wrote on Twitter: “Scaramucci is the guy who gives you an air-kiss before you’re jammed into a black car with tinted windows for a ride out to the Meadowlands.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) July 21, 2017
— John Cusack (@johncusack) July 21, 2017