After the White House formally announced that Wall Street financier and Goldman Sachs alumnus would take over as White House Communications Director Friday, the press secretary abruptly resigned. Spicer was both press secretary and acting communications director at the time of his departure.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders was named as Spicer’s replacement.
Had Spicer remained as press secretary, he would’ve worked closely with Scaramucci. But the two are said to have a tense relationship, which is seems to be consistent with other members of Trump’s inner circle. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and top advisor Steve Bannon reportedly fought to prevent the appointment.
At the White House press briefing following the announcement, however, Scaramucci said that he had no problem working for Priebus and called Bannon one of the “smartest people” he knows.
“I’m a super optimistic guy,” Scaramucci said. “I think the President of the United States is going to have a phenomenal relationship with the press.”
When asked about Trump’s controversial claim that there were 3 million illegal votes during the election, he responded: “If the president of the United States says it… my guess is that there’s probably some level of truth to that.”
He added: “I’m a team player…I believe that you have to subordinate yourself to the greater good of the team.”
Scaramucci was initially slated to become the Director of Public Liaison in January, even selling his hedge fund Skybridge Capital in preparation. But after being passed over for the role, Scaramucci took a position in the Export-Import Bank in June.
Prior to his communications role, Scaramucci was briefly considered for a position as the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris in June, as well.
Other Goldman Sachs alumni who have joined the Trump administration, such as National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, have previously met with criticism over their ties to Wall Street. Given that the communications director role strays away from Scaramucci’s background in finance and economics, it’s likely Scaramucci will face the same.
Scaramucci could not immediately be reached for additional comment.