Fund manager and Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci came to the defense of the billionaire business titans being tapped for positions in president-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration.
So far, Trump has picked billionaires Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce), Todd Rickets (Deputy Secretary of Commerce), and Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) for positions in his cabinet. He also chose Steve Mnuchin, a millionaire Hollywood producer and former Goldman Sachs partner, for Treasury Secretary.
“I think that’s categorically unfair,” Scaramucci told a press pool inside Trump Tower on Friday. “I’ll say something to all of you guys that I think the American people need to hear is that he’s really evaluating talent and so if people in the United States have lived the American dream and have been able to amass that kind of wealth, well certainly they’re super talented or in what the president-elect says they’re actually killers.”
He continued: “What you’ll find about some of the nation’s billionaires, it’s not like they have their money located in a swimming pool in $100 bills. Their money is actually in their businesses, they’re in the capital accounts, the capital equipment structure of their businesses and they’re putting people to work in those businesses. And so what I think is really unfair and what I would like us to try to get done here is to sort of end the demonization of success. We want super bright people. We want super bright academics. We want super bright military experts. We want super bright people along a whole cross section of the economy, diplomats etc. And so if you’re putting people in trade and treasury or commerce as an example that are super successful, I think the American people should get the assurance that they picked a leader whose judgement they can trust and respect. So I really want to push back very strongly on this whole billionaire criticism. Why is it so bad to be a billionaire, OK? I think it’s pretty good and by the way these guys who I know personally that he’s selected, are some of the most charitable people in the world.”
Scaramucci, who grew up in a working-class family on New York’s Long Island, is the co-founder of SkyBridge Capital, a fund-of-funds with $13 billion in assets under management. He’s also the co-host of “Wall Street Week,” an iconic financial program he revived that airs on Fox Business Network.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.