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Friday 13 December 2019

New York financier to become top Trump adviser

Anthony Scaramucci arrives at Trump Tower in New York (AP)
Anthony Scaramucci arrives at Trump Tower in New York (AP)

A prominent New York financier is to become a top White House adviser to US president-elect Donald Trump, co-ordinating the administration's outreach to the nation's financial world and key members of the political community.

Anthony Scaramucci, a colourful surrogate for Mr Trump and a top fund raiser during his campaign, will be appointed within the week, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

His exact title has not been settled, the sources said, but he may move into the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, which is currently run by Valerie Jarrett, one of Barack Obama's most powerful allies.

Mr Scaramucci may turn the role into something more akin to what it was under George Bush, when it was known as the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mr Scaramucci has deep ties to Wall Street and will be one of the administration's public faces to the banking and business worlds, but the hedge fund banker and frequent cable TV commentator will also conduct outreach to Silicon Valley and influential organisations in the non-profit world and politics.

He has deep ties with incoming White House strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's influential son-in-law.

Mr Kushner and Mr Bannon will probably be two of the three major power centres in the West Wing, along with chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Mr Scaramucci joins a growing contingent of former fellow Goldman Sachs employees due to join the new administration.

Others include Mr Bannon and US Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin.

Mr Trump memorably disparaged Goldman Sachs during the campaign, claiming it held great sway over former rivals Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, and has complained that hedge fund managers do not pay enough in taxes.

Mr Scaramucci's conversion to Mr Trump came after hitching his wagon to two other candidates - first, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and then former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

When it became clear Mr Trump would win the nomination, Mr Scaramucci fully ingratiated himself with the Trump campaign, becoming one of the billionaire's best fund raisers and an outspoken media presence on his behalf.

In the closing months of the presidential campaign, Mr Scaramucci became tight with Mr Kushner.

He has been omnipresent at Trump Tower during the transition, at one point escorting secretary of state hopeful David Petraeus around.

He has also grown close to Mr Trump, who is said to be a fan of Mr Scaramucci's TV appearances and envisions him as a visible face of the administration.

For weeks, the former banker has been trying to sell his New York-based SkyBridge Capital investment fund to clear the way to join Mr Trump's White House.

Mr Scaramucci is also known for his annual Las Vegas financial summit, SALT, which on Thursday sent out invitations for its next event in May, where former prime minister David Cameron is expected to speak.

Other expected speakers are Democratic donor and fellow New York investor Marc Lasry, former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, media personality Megyn Kelly and popular 1990s singer Jewel.


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