Talking Trump with Scaramucci and Tilson

img_2288I first met Anthony Scaramucci in 2011, when as the editor of AR(Absolute Return +Alpha), I went to visit him in his midtown New York City office of SkyBridge Capital Management. I knew Scaramucci primarily from his attacks on President Obama, whom the year before he had denounced for treating Wall Street like a pinata. The day before our meeting, Obama had unveiled a tax plan that would raise taxes on the rich.

“What do you think of our president’s tax plan?” was Scaramucci’s opening line when I sat down in his office.

“Well, I’m all in favor of it,” I retorted, bluntly, as I’m likely to do. And we were off to the races.

Scaramucci, I learned, loved to argue about politics almost as much as I did. During what turned into a two-hour conversation, Scaramucci and I found out we had one overriding thing in common: respect for the labor movement and the working class. Scaramucci had grown up the son of a construction worker, a union member. Those middle class wages had helped Scaramucci go to Harvard and become a financier.

We disagreed on policies for working people and still do, but we still like each other. After Scaramucci’s preferred candidates Scott Walker and, then Jeb Bush, withdrew from the presidential race earlier this year, Scaramucci threw his support fully behind Donald Trump– whose election was fueled by the rhetoric of working class Americans left behind.

It was a risky strategy to back Trump, but Scaramucci said he was a Republican party loyalist and besides, if Trump should win, he would need smart people like Scaramucci around him. The day after the election, Scaramucci spent an hour talking to me for this interview in New York magazine.

That same day, I caught up with one of Trump’s most outspoken foes in the financial world, hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson. Despite the market rally, Tilson wasn’t entirely convinced Trump was a new man. Here’s my story on his views, also in New York magazine. Here’s the story and a photo of him with his “Nope” Trump t-shirt.


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