Anthony Scaramucci, the millionaire-hedge-fund-manager-turned-White-House-communications-director, argued Wednesday that President Donald Trump, despite being part of the global economic elite, could identify with middle and working class Americans.
“What’s happening right now, which I love, is that the elites and the media establishment that want to hit the President on Russia every day, they’re recognizing there’s nothing to the Russian story,” Scaramucci began in an interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis.
Maitlis stopped him: “What part of Donald Trump is not elite? The business side or the politics side or the inheritance side? What part of Donald Trump — many people in the UK don’t understand that.”
“Oh my God, there’s so many things about the President,” Scaramucci began.
“He’s a celebrity, he’s a billionaire,” Maitlis continued.
“How about the cheeseburgers, how about the pizza that we’re eating?” Scaramucci said.
“Everyone eats cheeseburgers and pizzas, what are you talking about?” Maitlis responded.
“No, no, no, no. See, you’re coming across a little bit elitist, so let me just say something to you, OK?” Scaramucci said. “I grew up in a middle-class family, OK? We had virtually — a tight budget and little to no money. I spent 30 years of my life trying to get into the global elites so I could stand here and serve the President. And I missed the movement.”
Scaramucci said the insular culture of global elites — he himself is still finalizing the sale of Skybridge Capital to a Chinese conglomerate — had initially ignored the populist political style Trump represented in the 2016 campaign.
“Donald Trump is not elite, then? He’s not an elite?” Maitlis asked again.
“Very much so, he’s both,” Scaramucci said. “He knows how to operate in an elitist world, and he has unbelievable empathy for the common struggle that’s going on with the middle class people and the lower middle class people.”
Notably, after running a presidential campaign that leaned heavily on economic populism, Trump named what is collectively the wealthiest Cabinet in American history. In June, the President said “I just don’t want a poor person” in an economic policy role.
And, despite Trump’s use of the investment bank as a punching bag during the campaign, Scaramucci is yet another Goldman Sachs alumnus to join the highest ranks of the executive branch.
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