You might say that White House director of communications Anthony Scaramucci has a complex relationship with the press.
Cited in numerous interviews saying he loves media attention, Scaramucci is certainly no stranger to press exposure and the perils of publicity. At Friday’s press conference, after discussing his new role in the Trump administration and how he planned to improve relations between the White House and the press, Scaramucci waved and blew a kiss to the journalists before handing the podium to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Considering the fervent media bias against President Trump and the constant attacks he has faced since the early days of his campaign by major news outlets, Scaramucci’s mission may seem difficult—impossible, even. How do we change the perspectives of people who have already made up their minds about the president? How do we reverse the damaging narrative the liberal media has created against him?
To fully understand Scaramucci’s distinct skillset and why Trump wisely chose him for the role as communications director, I invite you to take a closer look at Scaramucci, his Wall Street past, his history with Trump and the GOP, and his unique strategy in approaching press relations.
Born in Long Island, New York to middle-class parents, Scaramucci earned a B.A. in economics from Tufts University, and later a J.D. from Harvard Law School. After graduating law school, Scaramucci began his career at Goldman Sachs in 1989, working mainly in private wealth management. In 2005, Scaramucci founded SkyBridge Capital, a global investment firm with a focus on hedge fund seeding. In May 2014, Scaramucci became host of financial news program Wall Street Week on Fox Business.
Scaramucci has earned a reputation for his frequent defenses of President Trump in the media. Before being appointed to the Trump administration, he publicly backed Trump and advocated for him during his campaign trail. In May 2016, he cemented his support for the campaign by joining the Trump Finance Committee. Already a long-time fundraiser of the RNC, Scaramucci’s financial skills served the Trump campaign well, with campaign officials revealing he had helped raise as much as $70 million in July 2016 alone.
Aside from knowing President Trump for years, Scaramucci also has a close relationship with Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr, and is well-respected by both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner as well.
Still, despite his direct line to the president, his lack of a traditional communications portfolio may seem questionable to some. Why has Trump chosen Scaramucci for such an important White House role? The answer may be most evident in a statement Scaramucci gave to Fox News commentator Chris Wallace, saying: “I certainly want to engage the mainstream media. I expect that they’re going to want to hold me and the White House accountable, but we’re going to want to hold them accountable, too”.
In the face of constant attacks by the media, President Trump has finally appointed someone well-equipped to change the liberal narrative.
This upgrade was plain to see during Friday’s press briefing, in which Scaramucci smoothly addressed reporters with a poised and comfortable speaking style. This was a stark departure from press events with former communications director Sean Spicer, who often came across as combative and unprepared. Scaramucci called on as many reporters as possible during the briefing, saying that he was not afraid of questions; when flippantly asked about past negative comments he had made about Trump, Scaramucci handled the situation with grace and humor, joking that the president has not forgotten about these jabs and that he “brings it up every fifteen seconds”. He then added, “But here’s the wonderful thing about the news media: that was three minutes of my life; he’s never forgotten it, you’ve never forgotten it—but I hope that someday, Mr. President, you will forget it”.
Scaramucci knows exactly how the media works, and possesses the boldness and audacity to address press hypocrisy while advocating for positive changes in reporting.
After criticizing the news media, saying that there are outlets who “stretch or fabricate things”, Scaramucci spoke about how he would like to create a better relationship with the press, claiming he aims to establish a more “positive mojo”. “I’m hoping to create an era of a new good feeling with the media,” he said, “Give everybody a fresh start”.
Scaramucci then left the briefing, but not before blowing a kiss to the crowd of journalists, their cameras still encircling him. Between his polished style, confident demeanor, and flair for self-promotion that rivals that of President Trump himself, Anthony Scaramucci could be Trump’s greatest asset against the heavily biased press assaults he has faced since the very beginning of his campaign. Although detractors may write him off as just another skilled spin-doctor, Scaramucci shows no signs of faltering or losing steam in his mission to confront the press and change the media narrative surrounding President Trump.
“The politics of ‘gotcha’ are over. I have a thick skin and we’re moving on to @POTUS agenda serving the American people”, he tweeted Saturday.
At this point, it’s clear Scaramucci can talk the talk. For the benefit of our nation’s unity, we hope to see him walk the walk just as skillfully.