By Pratik Krishnan Manoj
Anthony Scaramucci, better known as “The Mooch”, was the most recent casualty in the chaos reigning within the White House. His firing came approximately ten days after he was hired. From what is seen of him in the media, we see a fast talking cannon that seemed to be exactly what Trump wanted. But who exactly is Anthony Scaramucci and what happened in within ten days that got him fired?
Tracing the roots
Born on January 6th, 1964 into an Italian-American, Roman Catholic family, Mr Scaramucci, had a middle-class upbringing. He received a B.A in Economics from Tufts University and a J.D from Harvard which was his stepping-stone into the world of finance. Despite being a registered member of the New York Bar, he never practised law.
The son of a construction worker, Scaramucci got his start in finance at Goldman Sachs after graduating from Harvard Law School. He spent 13 years at the firm before venturing out on his own, eventually starting SkyBridge Capital in 2005.
A case of fickle ideology?
It is evident from Mr Scaramucci’s history that he, like Trump, lacks ideological rigidity. Incidentally, he had worked for and supported Obama’s campaign in 2008. In 2012, he served as the co-chair for National Finance in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He even changed from a Trump basher to Trump supporter faster than most Republicans in the White House did.
This came after he referred to Trump as a ‘hack politician’ and predicted that his run for president would end somewhere around Thanksgiving. In 2015 he labelled Trump’s rhetoric as divisive and ridiculed his plan on building the wall. However, when he took up his post at the White House, he proclaimed his love for and loyalty to the President; and Trump loved it. So the question remains, what went so wrong, that the Mooch was cut loose after 10 days?
Appointment despite objections
Having been appointed as the White House Communications Director by President Donald Trump on 21st July 2017, Mr Scaramucci was to take office on the 25th of July. The White House announced that Mr Scaramucci would report directly to the President rather than to the White House Chief of Staff, as the previous White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had done.
Sean Spicer resigned the day Scaramucci’s appointment was announced. It was reported by The New York Times that he resigned after advising President Trump that he ‘vehemently disagreed’ with the appointment of Mr Scaramucci. Apart from Sean Spicer, the Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus also had ‘vehement objections’ to Scaramucci’s appointment.
Accusations and comments aplenty
On July 26, 2017, in a phone call to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, Scaramucci claimed that he would fire every person on the White House communications team if Ryan refused to reveal the source of leaked information about who had attended a dinner with the President. Scaramucci went on to accuse Reince Priebus of being “a leaker” who committed “felony“. He then proceeded to refer to Priebus as “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” while claiming that Priebus would resign soon.
The Mooch then gave, what might be his most memorable statement of his short tenure when he said, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock”, in an apparent comment on his lack of interest in garnering media attention. Taking a page out of the President’s book, Scaramucci later tweeted, “I sometimes use colourful language. I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for Donald Trump’s agenda.”
Scaramucci claimed 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. He, however, later deleted the tweet. Ryan Lizza later claimed that the form was obtained from publicly available data at the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
John Kelly has the last word
On July 31, 2017, after appointing John Kelly as his Chief of Staff following Preibus’ resignation, Trump dismissed Scaramucci at the alleged recommendation of Kelly. It is claimed that one of Kelly’s first acts after being sworn in as Chief of Staff, was to invite Scaramucci to his office and tell him that he was being let go. An official White House statement said 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 25th to his departure on July 31st, is the shortest in history for that position. Scaramucci’s dismissal broke the former record of 11 days that had been held by Jack Koehler in the Reagan administration.
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