After a week in the job, Anthony Scaramucci has risen to be the second most high profile person working in the White House after Donald Trump.
The ex-Wall Street financier has launched a foul-mouthed, on-the-record tirade about his colleagues, made a bizarre on-air phone call to CNN to accuse his boss of leaking, and denied he stabs people in the back because he’s “more of a front-stabbing person”.
This man is so brash he gives the august, patrician New Yorker magazine no option but to pollute Twitter with things like this.
Roll on Scaramucci’s second week in the West Wing.
Here are 9 things you need to know about the man they call ‘The Mooch’
1. He’s seen Trump do some incredible things.
Scaramucci first met Trump briefly when he was 31 and working at Goldman Sachs, and the pair got closer over the years. In that time, he’s witnessed the property tycoon-turned-politician in his pomp.
“I have seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tyre,” Scaramucci revealed in his first press conference after taking the role. “I’ve seen him in Madison Square Garden with a topcoat, standing in the key, hitting shots. He sinks three-foot putts.” (This was later changed to 30 foot in the White House transcript).
In short, Scaramucci said, Trump is “a winner”.
The comments, particularly about throwing a “dead spiral through a tyre”, echoes an episode of The Office where salesman Chris Finch is celebrated by Gareth Keenan for throwing a kettle over a pub.
2. He’s as rich as Crassus. Probably.
Most profiles of “The Mooch” have mentioned he is a “New York financier”, a polite phrase for filthy rich. It also underlines how he has no previous political or communications experience before becoming Trump’s top media guy.
He made his name at Goldman Sachs before launching his own wealth management firm, SkyBridge Capital, in 2005.
The sale of the company, salaries and minority stake in the New York Mets have made him a fortune: Scaramucci has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion, Celebrity Net Worth notes. (Though others think it’s much lower in the $200 million to $300 million range).
3. ‘The Mooch’ has a style.
Sharp suits and perfect hair are the mark of ‘The Mooch’. He has signature aviator sunglasses, which The Weekly Standard discovered are from the women’s section.
Anyway, he courted controversy when he said he wanted to make Sarah Huckabee Sanders - Sean Spicer’s replacement as press secretary - “better at that podium”. Speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN, he added: “The only thing I ask Sarah - Sarah, if you’re watching, I loved the hair and makeup person that we had on Friday, so I’d like to continue to use the hair and makeup person.”
Though the Mooch later said he was talking about himself when faced with sexism charges. Of course he was.
4. He’s a professional New Yorker.
The Long Island native is the son of a construction worker who likes to exploit his everyman New York roots. “I’m from a town right on the border of Queens,” he told the BBC when asked about his past criticism of Trump.
“And the President grew up in Queens. We have a little more of a different communications style [than the UK], a little bit more direct ... probably less subtle and polite. You don’t think politicians in your home town are hitting each other left and right?”
The suggestion, particularly after his profanity-laden New Yorker interview, that Scaramucci is trying to channel Joe Pesci in Goodellas, with a dash of The Wolf of Wall Street, is increasingly common.
5. He raised funds for Obama and yet ...
In 2008, Scaramucci was a fundraiser for future president Barack Obama and the Democrats.
The pair were Harvard Law School classmates and played basketball together, and ‘The Mooch’ once said that Obama has “the best smile in American politics since Jack Kennedy”.
But he became an Obama critic after the US President’s post-crash Wall Street crackdown, and challenged him on US network about “whacking us with a stick”.
Obama couldn’t have been less troubled by the comment: “I have been amused over the last couple of years, this sense of somehow me beating up on Wall Street. I think most people on Main Street feel they got beat up on.
“There’s a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft on Wall Street. That’s probably the majority, not the minority.”
6. He called Trump a hack politician and said he’d move to London if Trump won
Scaramucci hasn’t always backed Trump. In fact, he hasn’t liked him. He backed Scott Walker at first and then switched to supporting Jeb Bush. In August 2015, the financier attacked Trump as a bully during an appearance on Fox Business. He hit out at Trump for criticising hedge fund managers.
He called his now boss “a hack politician” whose words were “anti-American”. He predicted Trump would wind up president of the “Queens County Bully Association.
“The politicians don’t want to go at Trump because he’s got a big mouth and he’s afraid he’s gonna light them up on Fox News and all these other places, but I’m not a politician,” he said.
“You’re an inherited money dude from Queens County — bring it, Donald. Bring it.”
By January 2016, his view of Trump hadn’t apparently improved. Scaramucci seemed convinced someone else would be elected president.
He joked to the BBC: “If Donald Trump becomes the next president, I’m looking forward to the BBC helping me find a flat somewhere in London.”
In his first press conference last week, Scaramucci pleaded forgiveness. He said Trump brought up the “hack” comment “every 15 seconds”. “Mr. President, if you’re listening, I personally apologise for the 50th time for saying that,” he told reporters.
7. His extravagant wine party at Davos was a ‘drunken mess’
The rich, powerful and famous gather at the Swiss alpine report every January to discuss how to fix the world and stage extravagant parties.
Scaramucci’s 2011 party at the event was remembered as a “drunken mess” by one writer.
“Scaramucci is the first to admit that he’s not much of a wine connoisseur, but he knew what he wanted: he told me that the bill for the event just kept on rising from its initial stratospheric level, as he insisted that if he was going to throw a party, the wine must never run out and must be available in quantity,” Felix Salmond wrote on his Reuters blog.
“Revellers would cluster around stations loaded up with fine wine, getting large pours of increasingly-indistinguishable heavy cabernets, competing to find the Cheval Blanc and Le Pin, all the while fighting off jet lag and concentrating mainly on greeting their old Davos buddies and catching up on gossip.”
8. He deletes Tweets that might contradict his current views.
“Full transparency,” he said when he entered the White House. “I’m deleting old Tweets”.
If you don’t want the internet to remember your past, don’t alert it to the fact you’re deleting it. Tweeters rushed into action to uncover what Scaramucci was putting in the Twitter memory bin.
He deleted tweets that called Trump an “odd guy”, that advocated tougher gun laws and, perhaps most controversially, that said the Berlin Wall was a bad thing.
“Past views evolved & shouldn’t be a distraction,” he said of his deletions, suggesting he’s now a big fan of walls.
9. Has been studying Trump intently.
Scaramucci is a brash, wealthy New Yorker, like Trump. But Scaramucci isn’t, evidently, happy to let the similarities end there. The Daily Show noticed he seems to have studied his hero’s mannerisms closely.
Hand waving, pointing, kiss blowing - you name a gesture of Trump’s, Scaramucci does it as well.