Trump adviser once called him a 'hack' with a 'big mouth'

Trump sinks drug stocks
Trump sinks drug stocks

Anthony Scaramucci is such a fierce defender of Wall Street that he once called a critic "anti-American" and dismissed him as "another hack politician."

That politician? Donald Trump.

"He's got a big mouth," Scaramucci said on Fox Business in August 2015, after Trump criticized "hedge fund guys paying nothing" in taxes.

"You're an inherited money dude from Queens County. Bring it, Donald."

Scaramucci is singing a different tune these days. He was recently tapped to be a White House liaison with the business world.

It's a position that fits Scaramucci like a glove, given his reputation as one of the Street's top schmoozers. Each year, he hosts a conference and extravagant party in Las Vegas for hedge funds called SALT, which has been attended by the likes of Will Smith, Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant and Al Pacino.

Scaramucci is a charmer who has a knack for turning adversity into opportunity -- he was once fired and rehired from Goldman Sachs in the same year. And last year, once his preferred presidential candidates Scott Walker and Jeb Bush dropped out, Scaramucci threw his support behind Trump. That bet obviously paid off in spades.

As a liaison between President Trump and the business world, Scaramucci will have to tap lean on his social skills, especially since he has a boss who frequently targets companies and executives on Twitter. Scaramucci is already doing some of that -- he recently told an elite crowd at Davos that people need to stop freaking out over Trump's every comment.

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Wall Street is hoping Scaramucci, better known as "The Mooch," will be a moderating influence against the more extreme forces that have led Trump to stake out positions that make investors uncomfortable.

Not only does Scaramucci have a Goldman Sach (GS)pedigree, but the hedge fund executive has described himself as an "unapologetic defender of Wall Street."

Scaramucci even co-hosted Wall Street Week, a revival of the iconic business TV show, that airs on Fox Business.

Scaramucci's annual SALT hedge fund conference in Vegas has also been a mostly bipartisan affair. The annual hedge fund party at the Bellagio gave a stage to figures as diverse as Trump supporter Boone Pickens and Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee.

But to join Team Trump, Scaramucci has now cut ties with both SALT and his fund SkyBridge Capital, which is being sold to a Chinese consortium.

Related: Trump adviser's $285M exit from Goldman Sachs

Critics like the columnist Felix Salmon say that Scarmucci's jump from finance to the White House is a "classic revolving door play."

Scaramucci must think he'll cash in once he gets back into the private sector because he'll be "covered in Trumpian fairy dust," Salmon said during a recent Slate podcast.

"I just don't know that Trump fairy dust is going to be worth anything," Salmon said.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, Scaramucci got his start on Wall Street in 1989 in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs.

Scaramucci said he was "absolutely terrible at the job" and was fired from Goldman in February 1991, according to an interview he gave to recruitment firm OneWire. But Scaramucci worked his network of contacts and ended up finding a job back at Goldman Sachs just two months later in the firm's sales division.

Trump, who held up Goldman Sachs as a symbol of the corrupt establishment during the campaign, now has a long list of Goldman veterans working for him.

In addition to Scaramucci, they include treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin, White House adviser Steve Bannon, top economic adviser Gary Cohn and Dina Powell, who will work closely with Ivanka Trump.

Scaramucci has pushed back against criticism over the Goldman hires.

"The idea that ever working for Goldman Sachs automatically makes you the devil is one of the most irrational conspiracies in modern society," Scaramucci said on Twitter.

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