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Hedge fund founder takes new role at White House

Anthony Scaramucci had been passed over for several jobs in the Trump administration until his appointment Friday as communications director.

President Donald Trump on Friday hired former hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci as his communications director.

Mr. Scaramucci is the founder of Skybridge Capital, a hedge fund firm. He agreed in January to sell his approximately 45% stake in the firm to buyers that included a subsidiary of HNA Group, the Chinese conglomerate, as well as a little-known company called RON Transatlantic.

Mr. Scaramucci has been a campaign fundraiser for Mr. Trump and regular adviser during the presidential transition. He'd been mentioned for multiple jobs in the administration, most recently as ambassador to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. He'd also been considered for head of the White House office of public engagement.

As a result of the appointment, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned. One person familiar with the changes said Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the communications job out of a sense of loyalty to his surrogate, whom he calls "the Italian kid." Mr. Spicer resigned out of frustration, the person said, because Mr. Scaramucci is not expected to perform the traditional duties of a communications director, such as planning messaging campaigns for the president's policies, and that work would have fallen to the already overwhelmed press secretary.

Mr. Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, began planning a couple weeks ago to bring Mr. Scaramucci into the communications office at the White House, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Kushner has suggested giving Scaramucci a larger White House role over time, said the person, who asked not to named because the discussions haven't been made public.