Jul 21, 2017

Why Trump wants "Mooch" as his mouthpiece

Evan Vucci / AP

Watching cable news, President Trump admired the scrappy style of Anthony Scaramucci, a brash Wall Streeter widely known as "Mooch," and would ask aloud why the financier wasn't working for him. Now, Trump is expected to announce Scaramucci as White House communications director, a job that's been open since Mike Dubke resigned in May.

  • The intrigue: At 10 a.m. today, Trump will hold a meeting about Scaramucci that will include Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who may try to block or delay the hiring.
  • Who he is: "Mooch" is a major Republican donor who supported Trump during the general election campaign — after fundraising during the primaries for Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. He frequently appears on Fox News and is a longtime friend of Sean Hannity.
  • Scaramucci recently sold his stake in his hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital (making an estimated $100 million), but was left stranded after an initially planned job in the White House didn't materialize. Scaramucci is currently working at the Export-Import Bank.

Scaramucci endeared himself even to Trump more when he fought back against a CNN story tying him to the Russia investigation, and won a retraction and the resignation of three CNN journalists.

The President frequently vents about his press and comms operation, and he liked the ideas Mooch presented.

Scaramucci, who met with President Trump and Ivanka Trump at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, is supported by Ivanka, Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks, the director of strategic communications.

But he's walking into a buzz saw of internal opposition from aides who think he's unqualified for the job, which traditionally has focused on strategy and planning.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,139,207 — Total deaths: 60,874 — Total recoveries: 233,807Map.
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  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
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