Anthony Scaramucci & Sean Spicer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

anthony scaramucci, sean spicer

Getty Anthony Scaramucci (l) and Sean Spicer.

In some ways, Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci come from very different worlds.

Scaramucci is a financier from New York, the author of a book on hedge funds, a cable news personality, and a former Goldman Sachs employee. Spicer forged his career in Republican political trenches, working for President George W. Bush and as chief strategist to the Republican National Committee before assuming the podium as Donald Trump’s controversial and often-mocked White House press secretary.

Now, Spicer has resigned and numerous published reports pin the blame for that decision on Trump’s elevation of Scaramucci in the White House Communications Office. However, Spicer was not the only top official in the White House to oppose Scaramucci’s hiring, Daily Beast reports, giving the move the aura of a major shake-up.

Spicer was one of the White House’s most visible faces.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Spicer Reportedly Believed That Trump’s Hiring of Scaramucci Was a ‘Major Mistake’

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GettyAnthony Scaramucci at Trump Tower in January.

Numerous news outlets reported that Trump’s decision to hire Scaramucci as White House communications director was the reason that Spicer decided to quit.

The New York Times and the Associated Press both confirmed that Spicer had resigned on July 21 and reported that it was because Trump went ahead with Scaramucci’s hiring, which had been rumored for days.

The Times cited the Scaramucci hiring as pivotal in Spicer’s resignation but said that Trump implored Spicer to stay on. Before Spicer quit, the possible Scaramucci hiring was being painted as a bolstering of the press office’s staff, not a diminishing of Spicer’s authority – at least publicly.

The Times reported that Trump offered Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. on July 21, and the president “requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake.” The Times based that report on an anonymous source. According to The Times, the offer would have left Spicer a subordinate to Scaramucci.

Katy Tur, of NBC News, reported on Twitter, “Spicer was telling folks last night he would resign if Scaramucci was hired. Said he didn’t think Scaramucci could do the job. -source close.”

Scaramucci was in the news recently when CNN retracted a story about him that led to three of the network’s journalists leaving the network.

2. Spicer, Who Was Close to Reince Priebus, Was Concerned Scaramucci Would Turn the Press Office Into ‘Amateur Hour,’ Reports Say

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Spicer is an experienced political strategist, which is not Scaramucci’s background. The Daily Beast is reporting that Spicer and other Scaramucci opponents were “worried that the Scaramucci hiring would perpetuate the notion of ‘amateur hour’ in the West Wing. White House officials who opposed Scaramucci’s planned rise in Trump’s ranks have referred to the incoming new addition as a ‘joke’ and as a Trump-world ‘hanger-on’ who isn’t qualified for the job and is unprepared to handle the near-constant communications crisis dogging President Trump.”

Spicer quitting the job is raising obvious questions about the much rumored political fate of Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, who is close to Spicer from both of their days working for the Republican National Committee. Priebus is also the former executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party. His standing in the Trump administration was the subject of much speculation for weeks before Spicer resigned, but Spicer’s announcement is ratcheting that talk up again.

There have been many stories over recent months about Priebus and White House adviser Steve Bannon allegedly locking heads, also, and Bannon was accused of making a comment about Spicer’s weight recently. “Sean got fatter,” Bannon joked to The Atlantic when asked why Spicer wasn’t on camera as much. However, Scaramucci insisted in the first press briefing that he and Priebus are friends. He also praised Spicer as a patriot and said he hoped he had great success in the future.

However, NBC’s Katy Tur is reporting that Bannon was also opposed to the Scaramucci hire. “Bannon told Scaramucci ‘over my dead body’ will he get the job – two sources 1 in WH and 1 out tell @Sruhle and me,” Tur wrote on Twitter. Daily Beast reported that Priebus and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has been handling news briefings of late, were also opposed to Scaramucci’s hiring.

The New York Times reported that Priebus believes that Scaramucci lacked the “requisite organizational or political” experience needed for the job, but that Trump appreciates Scaramucci’s full-throated defense of him on television.

The Times reported that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, supported the Scaramucci hire.

3. Spicer Organized Debates for the RNC During the Presidential Election & Once Worked for George W. Bush

GettyWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer responds to questions during a briefing at the White House June 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

During the 2016 presidential election, Spicer was the chief strategist and communications director for the RNC, which Priebus ran before moving over to the Trump administration.

Spicer started out as communications director for the RNC in 2011, and he then became the organization’s chief strategist in 2015. Spicer was responsible for many duties at the RNC, among them organizing the Republican presidential primary debates. Spicer also worked in the George W. Bush administration from 2006 to 2008, where his title was assistant United States trade representative for media and public affairs. The Bush family, and Trump, of course, have no love lost.

However, Scaramucci also has a tie to the Bush family.

4. Scaramucci Worked at Goldman Sachs & Supported Jeb Bush & Scott Walker During the Presidential Election

Anthony Scaramucci,

Anthony Scaramucci

Scaramucci was not an early supporter of Trump during the presidential election. In fact, on Twitter, some are accusing Scaramucci of deleting old tweets.

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However, Trump is said to be a Scaramucci fan.

“The president is a fan of Scaramucci’s big personality, having appreciated his fervent defense of the administration during numerous cable-news hits. Trump had tried to find Scaramucci other positions inside the administration, but they repeatedly fell through,” reports Daily Beast.

Anthony Scaramucci was a senior adviser on Donald Trump’s transition team. After law school, Scaramucci started his career at Goldman Sachs in 1989. He worked in the company’s investment banking, equities, and private wealth management divisions. He left Goldman Sachs in 1996 and launched Oscar Capital Management with Andrew Boszhardt. In 2005, Scaramucci founded SkyBridge Capital, which is listed as a global alternative investment firm. However, Scaramucci sold that company right before Trump was inaugurated in January.

Before he joined Trump’s campaign on the Finance Committee, Scaramucci had endorsed Scott Walker and Jeb Bush in the 2016 election. Scaramucci is also an author of the books, The Little Book of Hedge Funds, Goodbye Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune Without Losing Your Soul and Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure into Success.

5. Spicer’s Visibility Was Diminishing in Recent Weeks

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House February 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The supposed Scaramucci-Spicer conflict aside, Spicer was already slowly vanishing as the public face of the Trump administration even before his resignation. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of Mike Huckabee, was dealing with the press more and more, and Spicer’s notorious press briefings on camera had basically stopped. Those briefings led to the memorable Melissa McCarthy portrayal of an angry and agitated Spicer on Saturday Night Live.

According to CBS, “Scaramucci’s hiring was a factor in his resignation, as was Spicer’s diminishing role in the White House.”

Spicer’s approach to handling the press was notoriously combative, a trait that McCarthy built into her skewering of him. He was not perfect at the podium. Spicer stepped in it when he said in a press briefing that Adolf Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons during World War II, forgetting that Hitler sent millions of Jews to gas chambers during the Holocaust. He was mocked for calling concentration camps and gas chambers “Holocaust centers.”

There were reports that Spicer’s job might be on the line after what some felt was the bizarre way in which he handled questions in the wake of James Comey’s firing and with Donald Trump said to be unhappy that his message was not getting out.

Spicer’s resignation also comes in a time of continued tumult for the Trump administration, which is battling against the continued drumbeat of Russian allegations.

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