New York hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci has been named White House communications director. The decision, controversial among White House staffers, caused White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to resign from his post Friday morning.
Here’s what to know about Scaramucci as he steps into his new role:
He comes from Wall Street
Scaramucci studied economics at Tufts University and graduated from Harvard Law School, before going on to work for Goldman Sachs, where he became a vice president in private wealth management. He later worked at Lehman Brothers and left in 2005 to launch SkyBridge Capital, a hedge fund investment firm.
In January, he sold his stake in the company to RON Transatlantic and Chinese billionaire Chen Feng’s HNA Group — a decision that raised questions about potential conflicts of interest as he was considered for White House posts.
He was a fundraiser and surrogate for the Trump campaign
Scaramucci, who served on Trump’s presidential transition team, has been one of Trump’s biggest defenders, appearing frequently as a surrogate on cable TV shows both during and after the campaign.
He said he was offered a White House job in January and sold his company, SkyBridge Capital, to work in the Trump administration, but “the job didn’t materialize.”
He has since been vocal about his continued willingness to work for the White House. “I am ready to serve,” Scaramucci said in remarks at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas in May, according to Bloomberg. “And so to the extent the President needs me, I will be available to him.”
His selection divided White House staffers
Spicer had been acting as both press secretary and communications director at the White House since Mike Dubke resigned from the communications role in May. Sacaramucci was serving as senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, when he was selected to take over the vacant communications director role.
Spicer resigned on Friday morning in objection to Trump’s decision to hire Scaramucci as communications director. The appointment was also opposed by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, supported the choice of Scaramucci, the New York Times reported.
“It’s been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August,” Spicer said in a tweet Friday afternoon.