January 14, 2017 at 12:04 am EST | by Chris Johnson
Trump taps pro-LGBT Anthony Scaramucci for outreach role

Anthony Scaramucci (Photo by Jdarsie11; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Anthony Scaramucci (Photo by Jdarsie11; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Donald Trump has selected as a top adviser for public engagement in his administration a prominent New York financier who professes to support LGBT rights and to have donated to LGBT rights groups, according to multiple media reports.

Trump reportedly selected Anthony Scaramucci for a job akin under the Obama administration similar to that of senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who handled LGBT issues and headed the Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs. Under Trump, the name of the office Scaramucci will hold may be changed to the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, which was its moniker during the Bush administration, according to the Washington Post.

But Scaramucci downplayed the comparison his upcoming role to Jarrett’s during the Obama administration when speaking to reporters in New York, according to Reuters.

“That’s probably an overstatement,” Scaramucci reportedly said. “Valerie and I know each other quite well and I will be speaking to her later in the day. I don’t want to overstate the position.”

The Trump transition team didn’t immediately respond to a request Friday night to confirm the president-elect selected Anthony Scaramucci for the adviser position or the describe nature of his role.

According to Reuters, Scaramucci will serve as a liaison in the White House for state and local governments and for both American and foreign businesses. It remains to be seen Scaramucci’s job will consist of LGBT outreach like Jarrett conducted during the Obama administration, and, if so, how well he’d be received given opposition to Trump from LGBT advocates.

“One of my other personal goals though is to get all of the American people to see President Trump the way I see him,” Scaramucci is quoted as saying in Reuters.

A Trump fundraiser, Scaramucci is a founder and co-managing partner of Skybridge Capital hedge fund and a former employee at Goldman Sachs. No stranger to plugging Trump on cable news, Scaramucci is the host of Wall Street Week on the Fox Business Network and is a regular contributor to Fox News.

In November, Scaramucci criticized the progressive movement for instituting political correctness, which he said “the average person” rejects, but nonetheless insisted he’s a supporter of LGBT rights and has donated to the Human Rights Campaign and the American Unity PAC, a pro-LGBT Republican group.

“I’m also a gay rights activist,” Scaramucci said. “You can look it up. I’ve given to American Unity PAC, I’ve given to the Human Rights Campaign, I’m for marriage equality. And by the way, this’ll be the first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay rights stance.”

Scaramucci erroneously said during the interview gay singer Elton John would perform at Trump’s inauguration. John denied that was the case. Scaramucci later admitted his error on Twitter, but also asserted his support for LGBT rights.

The Washington Blade has placed calls in with the Human Rights Campaign and the American Unity PAC seeking comment on Scaramucci’s appointment and the extent to which he contributed to the organizations.

It’s hard to say what Scaramucci meant by Trump having a “pro-gay rights stance.” Trump has signaled support for the anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act, said his “with the state” on North Carolina’s House Bill 2 and curried support with anti-LGBT evangelicals during the presidential election. Although Trump campaigned in opposition to same-sex marriage, he said on 60 Minutes after his election he’s “fine” with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

As an organizer of SALT, an annual political and business conference in Las Vegas for hedge fund managers, Scaramucci had invited as a speaker TV personality and transgender Republican advocate Caitlyn Jenner. A report last year in the Huffington Post on business support for LGBT rights quotes him as saying, “We don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.”

On Twitter, Scaramucci has also criticized North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2, calling the measure prohibiting transgender people from using the restroom in schools and government buildings “shameful.”

For a professed supporter of LGBT rights, Scaramucci has made unusual choices in his selection of presidential candidate to back. In 2012, Scaramucci supported then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. In the 2016 election, Scaramucci initially backed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, then former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before moving to Trump.

In a New York Times report last year on the SALT conference, Scaramucci was quoted as deriding Hillary Clinton moving to the left in the Democratic primary, reportedly saying, “You can search and see the weather vane on top of her head.”

At the time he was supporting Romney, a 2012 profile in The Daily Beast quoted him as describing himself as “socially progressive, pro-choice, and against the death penalty.”

Notably, Scaramucci wasn’t among the more than 300 Republicans in 2015 who jointly signed the Republican friend-of-the-court before the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage.

h/t Lifesite News

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • The real question re Anthony Scaramucci is, of course, how does he tip?

    Remember, tips are good karma. And karma never lies.

    And only the wait staff knows for sure. Thank you.

  • Trump can send out all of the surrogates that he might desire.

    DONALD TRUMP is the President for the next four years, not Scaramucci, and Trump is firmly against advancing LGBT rights.

    His Supreme Court nomination will tell the real tale.

  • Scaramucci must be blind to the weather vane on both Romney and Trump’s heads when it comes to GLBT rights! It really depends on the audience they are talking to in regards to their stance doesn’t it and what they think they have to gain or lose? They’ve both flip flopped so much that they could join the circus as a trapeze act!

    It seems that Scaramucci’s appointment has little to do with GLBT per se or it’s outreach. I don’t buy that Trump will be advocating or promoting our rights like Obama has. His right-wing base wouldn’t like it and would be outraged if he did!

    Is that Caitlyn Jenner looking for a trans ambassadorship under Trump’s administration? That should be amusing!

  • This is a smart man in the world of finance, pay attention and learn to make some money.

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