US & Canada

Anthony Scaramucci: Fired from the White House after 10 days

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Media captionOn his first day, he had to say sorry to the boss

Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci lasted only 10 days as White House communications director, a brief time but enough to prove controversial.

The appointment itself, on 21 July, triggered a shake-up at the Trump White House. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and spokesman Sean Spicer both left their posts over his hiring.

Then just a week after being named, he launched a strongly worded attack on Mr Priebus, calling him a "paranoid schizophrenic" in a conversation with a reporter.

In the same phone call, he also directed profanity-laced insults at Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Mr Scaramucci later tweeted his regret at the "colourful language", but the damage had already been done.

In the same week, reports also emerged that his wife, Deidre Ball, had filed for divorce. The New York Post said she was fed up with his "naked political ambition".

He also missed the birth of his son, on 24 July, as he was travelling with Mr Trump aboard Air Force One, a trip well documented on his Twitter feed, where he posted five pictures, including one with the president himself, and talked about how "humbled and blessed" he felt.

Mr Scaramucci, 53, spent much of his 10 days in the job railing against government "leakers". Perhaps ironically, the New York Times, one of the first US media outlets to report his dismissal, relied on three unnamed sources "close to the decision" to break the story.

And, topping it all, it was revealed on the same day of his sacking that he had been wrongly declared dead in the latest Harvard Law School alumni directory. A spokesman apologized, saying that the error will be corrected in subsequent editions. He graduated from Harvard Law in 1989.

Former TV fame

A major Republican donor and founder of investment firm SkyBridge Capital, Anthony Scaramucci, 53, served as an adviser on the presidential transition team.

He was a senior vice-president and chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank - the US government's export credit agency - before his appointment to the White House.

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Media captionThe feud between Priebus and Scaramucci decoded

In January 2017, the Wall Street bigwig was linked to the role of director for the Office of Public Liaison - where he would have managed the administration's engagement with the US business and political communities.

The job failed to materialise due to complications over the sale of his stake in SkyBridge, which meant it would take months for him to pass conflict-of-interest checks.

Mr Scaramucci is nicknamed "The Mooch", except by former President George W Bush, who reportedly calls him "Gucci Scaramucci".

The well-groomed banker previously hosted a financial television show, Wall Street Week, on Fox Business.

He is the author of three books, entitled Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure Into Success; Goodbye Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune without Losing Your Soul; and The Little Book of Hedge Funds (Little Books. Big Profits).

He has also contributed to the Fox News Channel, and staunchly defended the president in TV appearances.

Image copyright Twitter - @Scaramucci
Image caption The financier tweeted a picture with the president on 29 June

In a news conference shortly after his appointment, Mr Scaramucci addressed rumours of tension between himself and Mr Priebus, saying he considered him "a brother".

He said the pair had been "personal friends for six years" and that Mr Priebus was involved in him joining as communications director.

"We are a little bit like brothers where we rough each other up once in a while - which is totally normal for brothers," he said.

'Trump is a hack'

Mr Scaramucci, who claimed that he "loves" the president, also addressed an embarrassing 2015 moment where he branded Mr Trump a "hack politician" on Fox Business.

After Mr Trump criticised the hedge fund industry, the money man accused him of "anti-American" rhetoric and said he was on track to be president of "the Queens County Bullies' Association".

"The politicians don't want to go at Trump because he's got a big mouth and they're afraid he will light them up on Fox News," he sniped.

"I'm not a politician. You're an inherited money dude from Queens County. Bring it, Donald!"

It's not the only awkward moment Mr Scaramucci has shrugged off in his time.

In November 2016, when he was vice chair of the presidential inaugural committee, he told the BBC that Sir Elton John would be performing at Donald Trump's inauguration.

The singer's spokesperson called the claim "completely untrue".

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Media captionAnthony Scaramucci said he believed Elton John would play at the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump

In the same interview, Mr Scaramucci said he was "a gay rights activist" who had donated financially to the pro-gay rights group American Unity PAC, and supported marriage equality.

In 2010 he told the New York Times: "I'm pro-gay marriage. Pro-choice. Against the death penalty. I have no problem if the government raises my taxes."

Eagle-eyed Twitter users have spotted that Mr Scaramucci spent some time on the day his appointment was announced deleting old tweets.

Image copyright @Scaramucci

In other now-deleted tweets screengrabbed by Twitter users, Mr Scaramucci called Hillary Clinton "extremely competent" and said he was in favour of strong gun control.

But on Saturday, Mr Trump tweeted: "In all fairness to Anthony Scaramucci, he wanted to endorse me 1st, before the Republican Primaries started, but didn't think I was running!"

'Whacking Wall Street like a piñata'

In January 2017, in an interview with New York magazine, he said one thing he had learned about "these people in Washington" is that "they have no money".

That, he said, was why they fought about what seat they were in and what their title was.

During a 2010 television debate, Mr Scaramucci said to President Barack Obama: "When are we going to stop whacking Wall Street like a piñata?"

Mr Obama replied: "I have been amused by this sense of me beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks on Main Street [working Americans] think they got beat up on."

After some media picked up on the exchange, Mr Scaramucci said he had misspoke. "I realised that I came off as an elitist, and I regret that," he said.

Family ties

The Harvard-educated millionaire is close to Mr Trump's eldest son, Donald Jr, and respected by Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner - a senior adviser to the president.

He recently tweeted in defence of Donald Jr after news broke that he had met a Russian lawyer last year during the election campaign.

Mr Scaramucci said he was "proud to call him a friend".

Image copyright Twitter/Scaramucci

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