Anthony Scaramucci is the Founder and Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital, an alternative investment firm with around $10 billion in assets under management. He is the author of three books: The Little Book of Hedge Funds, Goodbye Gordon Gekko, and Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole, a 2016 Wall Street Journal best-seller. For the last 33 years, he has been on Wall Street, and the last 16 years with SkyBridge, founded in 2005. For a short period of time, Scaramucci was president Trump’s Communication Director in July 2017.
Interview Date : 3rd February 2021
How did you become former President Trump’s White House Communications Director?
I was a Republican fundraiser, and that was something I liked to do. I was always involved in politics one way or another during my adult life, but I didn’t see myself as becoming more active in politics. However, when President Trump won, I was with Jeb Bush prior to his decision to depart from the race. I had a relationship with Mr. Trump prior to that. We were acquaintances, so I worked for him for about a year on the campaign. He named me to his transition team, and when he won the election, we had high hopes. Unfortunately, there were underlying symptoms to things that he was doing, that frankly, I regret ignoring. Some of the things he said about the Mexican community and the Muslim ban are some of the things that I frankly should have never ignored. But I was a republican and I thought I was doing a loyal thing for my party.
Later, I went to work for him in the white house because he asked me, I did something stupid which I got fired for. I thought that that was fine, I had no problem with being fired. In fact, I tell young people that when you do something wrong or you do something fireable, own it, and own the responsibility for it which I always have.
How did your views on Mr. Trump change?
I tried to stay positive on the president, and I tried to stay supported, but it just kept going. Other issues like the child separation issue, denouncing our intelligence agency, calling the press the enemy of the people, calling 4 congresswomen of color “the squad”, and that they should “go back and help fix the broken and crime-infested places from which they came” which is the racist nativist stroke.
When did you realize you needed change?
About 2 years ago I realized that I had got this wrong, I should not have supported Mr. Trump because of the way he is handling himself. In the ensuing 2 years, he got himself impeached. Moreover, last year he so grossly mishandled the pandemic, and it was a painful odyssey for me, it was a painful odyssey personally. It caused consternation in my family, my wife and I almost got divorced, so it was a rough time. However, what I said about him 2 years ago turned out to be true. Unfortunately, he has been impeached twice, and while he still has supporters in the United States, his approval rating is down to the low 30s or the high 20s. And, we have to see what happens with the impeachment results.
How did that experience change you?
During that time, I learned a lot. It was very humbling for me, I think I am more psychologically minded as a result of the experience, but what I will say is that we have a real crisis in our country. We are disaffecting a very large group of people from American society. 74 million people voted for Mr. Trump and I think we have to take that seriously. We have to figure out a way to reach those people and hopefully get them to mainstream themselves to make more normal people and more normal candidates available to them. I hope to be a part of that going forward, but I am very happy that he lost because I think we would have caused even greater damage had he been president for another 4 years.
What should a government provide for the people?I think it’s pretty simple when it comes to the government; keep us safe, prevent the foreign invader from entering the United States, give people the opportunity to go to work, and try to get the government off people’s backs so that there is not a high level of bureaucracy that prevents them from working. Another simplistic thing about the government is if there is a national or international crisis like a global pandemic, there needs to be a coordinated response that relies upon experts, like from the Public Health and Safety sector.
Unfortunately, whatever Mr. Trump’s supporters would say about the economy under Mr. Trump prior to the pandemic, a lot of that was an extension of the Obama administration’s economy. His supporters wouldn’t like me saying this but he so grossly mishandled the pandemic that ultimately cost 13 million jobs, 400+ thousand Americans dead, and we have 10s of millions of Americans infected with the virus. The infection rates might be slowing down a little bit now, but I am very happy that he is gone. At least the Obama administration was using the resources of science and relying on experts that were trying to coordinate a strategy from a federal perspective. The number one thing people need is health and safety before they can do any business. Hopefully the quarantining and the sheltering that is taking place home during the pandemic will come to an end soon.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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