A Look At Anthony Scaramucci

Jul 22, 2017
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Some White House shake-ups are hard to see from the outside. But yesterday's resignation of Sean Spicer as press secretary puts a slick new personality front and center of the Trump administration. NPR's Don Gonyea has this profile of the new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, a man they call the Mooch.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: His resume makes him a Trump natural. Anthony Scaramucci is 53 years old, a New York City-based entrepreneur. He's run his own capital investment firm, spent time at Goldman Sachs and can often be seen on cable TV defending the president. In the White House briefing room yesterday, he thanked Sean Spicer, who was not present.

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ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Sean is a true American patriot. He's a military serviceman. He's got a great family, and he's done an amazing job. This is obviously a difficult situation to be in.

GONYEA: Scaramucci, ever the Wall Street guy, closed his tribute to Spicer with this.

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SCARAMUCCI: I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money.

GONYEA: Scaramucci demonstrated an affability with the press yesterday that Spicer has not had. He said he wants to narrow the gap between what he thinks of the president and what he sees as the press' view of Trump.

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SCARAMUCCI: To use a Wall Street expression, there might be an arbitrage spread between how well we are doing and how well some of you guys think we're doing. And we're going to work hard to close that spread.

GONYEA: But he also made it clear he sees media bias in the coverage. And he leaves no doubt about his love of the president, the audience of one he has to please.

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SCARAMUCCI: I love the president, and I'm very, very loyal to the president.

GONYEA: But it wasn't always so. Early in the campaign, Scaramucci was a supporter of candidate Scott Walker and later Jeb Bush. In fact, back then, in 2015, he tore into candidate Trump on the Fox Business channel. He called Trump a bigmouth who inherited his money.

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SCARAMUCCI: I'll tell you who he's going to be president of - you can tell Donald I said this - the Queens County Bullies Association. You've got to cut it out now and stop all this crazy rhetoric...

GONYEA: Scaramucci was asked yesterday if the president is aware of that moment.

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SCARAMUCCI: He brings it up every 15 seconds. OK?

GONYEA: He then added...

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SCARAMUCCI: I should have never said that about him. So Mr. President, if you're listening, I personally apologize, for the 50th time, for saying that.

GONYEA: Scaramucci ended the session by blowing a kiss to reporters in the room and made his exit.

Don Gonyea, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.