“I don’t like the way he talks about women, I don’t like the way he talks about our friend Megyn Kelly, and you know what, the politicians don’t want to go at Trump because he’s got a big mouth and because [they’re] afraid he’s going to light them up on Fox News and all these other places,” he said. “But I’m not a politician. Bring it. You’re an inherited money dude from Queens County. Bring it, Donald.”
This was in 2015, a year before the money manager began supporting Trump’s bid for president. But like all Trump hires, there’s almost nothing Scaramucci has said in the past his new boss will hold against him. As White House Communications Director, this is a helpful indicator of how reliable their future statements will be, too.
Sean Spicer is apparently not a fan. He has now resigned because of Scaramucci’s hiring, and Vanity Fair reports that Scaramucci also had a strained relationship with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault. As Jessica Pressler wrote in a New York magazine profile in January, Scaramucci (nickname “The Mooch”) “is well liked,” but “the Mooch, like the Fonz, has never been taken particularly seriously.”
When, to everyone’s disbelief, Donald Trump actually won the presidency and became someone to take seriously, so did Scaramucci. Since the election, Mooch’s stock has been way up: Yahoo Finance named him its “Wall Streeter of the Year,” despite the fact that his flagship fund had been performing poorly over the past two years. He has been a constant presence at Trump Tower, squiring bigwigs to meetings with the president-in-waiting. When I found him mixing a margarita for himself in an empty bar downstairs at the Hunt and Fish Club, his face still waxen with makeup after a day on TV, he told me it’s about to go even higher.
Pressler’s profile quotes an acquaintance calling Scaramucci “a momentum guy,” who “saw it was working and he hopped on.” He made a brief appearance a few weeks ago in Mark Leibovich’s New York Times Magazine feature “This Town Melts Down,” when Scaramucci was still in search of a job. In the five minutes he spends with Leibovich, who is interviewing Corey Lewandowski, the Mooch thanks Lewandowski for “that thing at the White House today,” writes Leibovitch. It was “the first of four times he would thank [Lewandowski] in the five minutes that we were together.”
Now, it appears, it will be others who are thanking Scaramucci. What does the Mooch do when momentum swings the other way? As he said in his first press briefing this afternoon, “If you want to eat an elephant, you have to eat it one bite at a time.”