(National Sentinel) West Wing: It’s widely believed that Anthony Scaramucci’s brief stint as President Donald J. Trump’s communications director was cut short by a vulgarity-filled tirade to a New Yorker Magazine correspondent, in which he dropped multiple “F” bombs and implied that former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus was one of the White House leakers.
As reported by CNBC, it’s likely that Scaramucci’s ties to a deal involving the sale of his hedge fund business to the Chinese had a lot to do with his untimely demise:
The abrupt dismissal of White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci less than two weeks after his appointment may be linked to the outspoken financier’s China dealings.
The firing has been widely attributed to Scaramucci’s verbal tirade to a reporter in addition to orders from new chief of staff John F. Kelly. But there’s a third issue that may have played into the decision, Jim Rickards, editor of investment newsletter Strategic Intelligence, told CNBC.
The sale of Scaramucci’s hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital, to HNA Capital, a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, was a red flag for Washington, according to Rickards.
The acquisition, which was finalized in January and reportedly values SkyBridge at around $200 million, is currently pending approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — or CFIUS — a government panel that reviews foreign purchases of American companies for national security risks.
Officially chaired by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, CFIUS involves multiple U.S. agencies, including the defense, commerce, and state departments.
Rickards, who previously worked with intelligence officials on CFIUS regarding foreign acquisitions of U.S. financial services firms, said he believes the Skybridge deal was “a sleeper story waiting to come back to haunt the White House.”
“My recommendation would have been for CFIUS to turn the deal down…we had always warned ‘don’t let our adversaries such as China or Russia get plugged into the U.S. financial system’…When I was involved, this deal would have not gone through,” Rickards said.
“In some ways, the White House is probably relieved to get rid of Scaramucci because now, no matter what happens to that deal, that burden won’t be with the White House,” he continued. “Using the [New Yorker] interview was great cover to get rid of Scaramucci before the hedge fund deal and national security review blew up in his face.”
The HNA Group is the owner of China’s Hainan Airlines, and the company has been on a multibillion-dollar buying spree for years — all of which has been closely monitored by U.S. officials.
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