(Reuters) - U.S hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, who left Wall Street to join the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, will now not get a senior role at the White House, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and top strategist Steve Bannon told Scaramucci that he would not get the job as liaison to the business community, the New York Times reported, citing a senior administration official.
Scaramucci may get another role in the future, the NYT said, adding Scaramucci’s withdrawal has yet to be declared officially.
The White House, Scaramucci and SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund he founded, were not immediately available for comment.
In January, Scaramucci said he would join Trump’s White House staff as an adviser and public liaison to government agencies and businesses, swapping his role as one of Wall Street’s splashiest showmen for a much bigger, more prestigious platform.
“The Mooch”, as he is referred to in New York financial circles, promoted Trump’s agenda at last month’s meeting of business and political elites in Davos, where he was billed as an adviser to the then president-elect.
But his role had yet to be confirmed.
The New York Times said the reason behind Scaramucci’s withdrawal was the sale of his firm, SkyBridge Capital, to a group that included a division of HNA Group, a Chinese aviation and tourism conglomerate that announced $21 billion in overseas acquisitions last year.
Scaramucci had to sell his stake in the firm to assume a role in the White House but the deal had not been completed, and administration officials told the New York Times that the White House Counsel’s Office had predicted that it would take up to three months for Scaramucci to be cleared of potential ethics conflicts.
To avoid conflicts of interest, Scaramucci had agreed to recuse himself from anything to do with SkyBridge and HNA.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, this week divested his equity interest in a flagship New York City building that is the subject of negotiations with Chinese insurer Anbang about a possible investment.
Trump has tapped Kushner as his senior adviser on the Middle East.
Concern about Chinese acquisitions of U.S. assets has been growing in the United States with a number of deals blocked or derailed by increased scrutiny under the previous administration of President Barack Obama.
Trump, meanwhile, has threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, accusing the country of keeping its currency artificially low to give it an advantage in trade deals.
Scaramucci switched his loyalties to Trump after initially supporting other Republican candidates in the race to be president. Once on side, Scaramucci became a dedicated supporter, talking up Trump’s policies and defending him from criticism on television and Twitter.
A former Goldman Sachs banker with a down-to-earth charm - he likes to describe himself as ‘a five foot eight Italian kid from Long Island’ - Scaramucci has thrived on his salesman skills.
At Skybridge, he excelled at getting wealthy clients into the hottest funds as they clamored for the services of prominent managers such as John Paulson. He also launched a hedge-fund conference in Las Vegas, known as SALT, during the 2008 recession that has become a staple on Wall Street’s calendar of events.
The conference is being spun off as a separate entity.
Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Nick Macfie
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