Trump, the Blue-Collar President


By Anthony Scaramucci

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In an administration not known for its subtlety, no comet soared higher, burned brighter, or flamed out more spectacularly than Anthony Scaramucci. For eleven days (not ten, as widely reported, he’ll tell anyone who’ll listen) he ran the most important communications department in the world, the White House’s. By the end of his short tenure — several of the most tumultuous and formative days of the Trump administration — he’d gone from a fairly well known on-air surrogate for the president to a household name, “the Mooch.”

The rise and fall of the Mooch, which riveted the nation, unfolded like a Shakespearean play directed by Martin Scorsese. In his own inimitable voice, Anthony reveals the juicy details behind his stormy term as White House communications director. He holds nothing back and spares no one’s feelings-including those of the country’s most powerful people.

If political movements are best understood through a single human life, then there is no better life to tell the story of Donald Trump’s rise in America than the Mooch’s.

From Long Island Newsday paperboy, with the largest route in Port Washington, to Master of the Universe, as Tom Wolfe characterized his kind in Bonfire of the Vanities, Anthony’s life was the embodiment of the American Dream. By his own admission, however, he became so involved in his high-octane career and life that he forgot his working-class roots. He wasn’t the only one to ignore the working class. There were neighborhoods like the one he grew up in throughout the country filled with deflated, unemployed, or underpaid people, ignored by elites and politicians-until Donald Trump came along.

It was only when Anthony joined the Donald Trump for President campaign as a surrogate and economic advisor that his eyes were opened to the plight of our country’s middle class. It took a billionaire real estate developer who lived in a tower on Fifth Ave to show him what had happened to the neighborhood in which he’d grown up and communities like it throughout America. It was then that Anthony realized that Donald Trump and his economic policies were the best bet for our country’s future.

A romp of a read, by turns hilarious, touching, and inspiring, Trump, the Blue-Collar President is sure to be among the best books written about the Trump presidency.




Donald J. Trump, the president for the working class. (Saul Loeb AFP / Getty Images)

THE DAY AFTER President Trump appointed me to the job as White House communications director, Long Island Newsday, the newspaper I’d delivered as a kid, ran the story with my photograph on the front page. My eighty-year-old mother, who still lives with my dad in the house that I grew up in, bought a dozen copies at Jack’s Stationery down on Main Street. She might have been more excited than I was. My brother, David, joked that she was going to take down the photos of all her grandchildren and replace them with the framed front page.

Eleven days later—and it was eleven days, not ten as widely reported (I’m not gonna let the media steal almost ten percent of my White House experience!)—after I’d been fired from the job because of an embarrassing public blowout with a reporter from the New Yorker, things weren’t quite as heartwarming at the Scaramucci residence. The press descended like wasps on my parents’ house. When I heard, I went over to see how my folks were doing. As I pulled into the driveway, my mother was standing in the front doorway as reporters pointed microphones and cameras at her. My mom had a look on her face that I knew well. It was the same expression she wore when she’d say to me, “Wait until your father gets home!”

“Get the f**k off my lawn!” she yelled at them.

“Ma,” I said, “that’s what got me in trouble in the first place.”

MY BROTHER WAS ONLY half kidding about my mother taking down the photos of her grandchildren. The living room wall of my parents’ house is made of that old-school 1970s paneling. It’s right out of The Brady Bunch. It’s also the Anthony Scaramucci “Wall of Fame.” There are snapshots from high school to law school and everything in between, articles about my first two hedge funds, magazine profiles written well before “the Mooch” became a household name. Italian mothers can go overboard when it comes to two things: plastic-covered furniture and telling you how great their kids are. (My grandmother, my mom’s mom, who lived just a block from us in Port Washington, actually did have plastic-covered furniture, as well as plastic-covered rugs in the hallways and plastic-covered lampshades.) Then, in a blink, I went from the “eighty-fifth most important person in global finance,” according to Worth magazine, to off that list and into the abyss of political purgatory.

Still, modesty aside, Mom’s homage to me sums up a pretty unlikely life, although one that began in an average way. I was born in a small working-class enclave of Long Island, where my father started out with an hourly wage measuring the sand that was poured into barges and shoveling sand and stone from the ground. My mother stayed home and raised her children. I went to college and then a fancy law school on loans and a little cash from my father’s life insurance policy and savings. I followed my older brother to Wall Street, where I immediately got fired from Goldman Sachs, failed the bar exam twice, and was rehired at Goldman, all in about a year. From there on, however, my life went straight up like a rocket. I passed the bar, started a family and two successful companies, witnessed firsthand 9/11, survived the financial crisis, threw a legendary hedge fund conference called SALT in Las Vegas nine years in a row, twice in Singapore, and once in Tokyo, and had my own finance show on television. After all that, I backed my way into presidential politics the way most people get into drugs.

Along the way, I made friends with a billionaire real estate developer from Manhattan, a man who would go on to become the forty-fifth president of the United States. I was among the first people to learn Donald Trump was running for president (although I didn’t believe him at the time), and we ran in the same circles and attended the same charity and political fund-raisers. For a short time, I was even a political antagonist who challenged him to fights on television. Somehow, all that earned me a spot on the political campaign of the century, raising money and stumping for the candidate on TV. It was Donald Trump himself who ultimately gave me my eleven days of fame in the White House; and it was Donald Trump who had to toss me out, like an empty Big Mac box, when the time came.

In one way, this book is the story of my life and my unique friendship with the president, but in the larger view, it’s also the story of an America that changed dramatically during those years.

Both Donald Trump and I had fathers who thrived in the prosperity of the postwar years and benefited from America’s firm belief and investment in its middle and lower classes. One father dug the sand that made cement, and the other poured the cement into the foundation on which the American Dream was built. The America they grew up in was founded on a solid economic footing; it was unafraid to assert itself on the world stage when necessary. As we, their sons, came along, and the twentieth century wore on, some of that prosperity vanished before our eyes. The trade deals we had struck in the aftermath of the war became worse and worse as they were renegotiated by elitist politicians out of touch with the American worker, and our tax system fell far out of balance with what was sensible and necessary. The American government then laid the groundwork for a financial collapse and blamed its most influential financial institutions when that collapse happened. Our leaders became feckless and unable to stand up for the United States of America. The aspirational working class—hardworking men and women who, like Fred Trump and Alexander Scaramucci, had struggled to achieve success—suffered a sharp decline while career politicians in Washington lined their pockets and held Congress in gridlock. With the coming of the internet, vast, powerful companies run by tech oligarchs controlled the content we read and the things we bought. Though these companies professed to be progressive, their actions were actually intrusive, racist, and limiting.

The lives of American citizens declined too, and when those people looked for help, no one was listening. At least not until the most improbable of all candidates came riding out of New York to champion their cause.

FOR MY MONEY, however, the best stories are comeback stories. You know the moment in Rocky when the music starts to swell and Balboa is getting up from the mat? It’s when Apollo Creed starts looking worried, and the camera zooms in for a tight shot of Rocky’s puffy “Cut me, Mick” eye. If you’re like me, that’s when you start getting butterflies. That’s when the story really begins to mean something to you—maybe because, like me, you’ve been down on the mat yourself. You know what it feels like to be counted out and to know at the same time, with absolute certainty, that you haven’t thrown your last punch.

While I was making my way through the Ivy League and the upper crust of New York finance, Donald Trump was down in construction sites with his contractors, slipping hundred-dollar bills to waiters in the restaurants on his properties, and fixing up an ice rink in New York City when the government got too bloated and arrogant to do the job. He would also become one of the greatest brand-builders and businessmen of our time. He existed in a world of stratospheric wealth, and yet somehow was able to hold onto the blue-collar world of his father all at once.

I, on the other hand, let wealth and influence change me. The more I made, the further I descended into the echo chamber of private clubs and wealthy communities until I forgot all about the sand my father dug. It embarrasses me to admit this, but I so wanted to move into the world of financial independence that I slowly became ignorant of the blue-collar struggle that began to surround me.

Then came May of 2016, and a Trump rally in Albuquerque. It was the first event I’d attended as a member of the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. I walked through the crowd that had gathered by the thousands outside a convention center. I listened to story after story of economic strife and pain. I don’t remember if it was after the third or the thirteenth version of the same story when the epiphany happened. All I know is that it did.

Though I was in Albuquerque and the accent was different, I might as well have been in Port Washington on Long Island. The block I grew up on had landscapers, telephone linemen, cops, nurses, and firefighters. My father lost most of his hearing from the blasting at his job. We were the definition of blue collar, and our neighborhood had once made anything seem possible. So too had neighborhoods in Scranton, Beaumont, Santa Fe, and hundreds of other places across the country. We had gone from aspirational neighborhoods to desperational ones.

Those neighborhoods had been victimized by decades of unfair trade policy and anti-working-class legislation, and I, soaring far above the problems on the ground, had paid little attention to them. It took the campaign of a guy who lived in a tower on Fifth Avenue next to Tiffany to show me what was happening to America’s working class.

In the pages ahead, I’ll also show you how Donald Trump is changing that. I’ll deconstruct the beginnings of Trumponomics from an insider’s point of view, tracing the economic and cultural forces that have made it necessary. I’ll show you how his economic policies came about and how they will work for you. I’ll do the same with Donald Trump’s foreign and domestic policy achievements, place them into a historical framework, and look ahead to what they may bring in the future. I’ve always thought of myself as a guy who calls balls and strikes as I see them, however, and this book will be no different. Where I have problems with President Trump’s agenda, or think he made missteps, I’ll say so. And though my missteps could fill a phone book, here you’ll get the Reader’s Digest “abridged version.”

THERE’S ONE MORE thing I discuss in the pages ahead, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it is… Oh yeah! The old elephant in the room! So if you picked up this book hoping to find out the inside story of my time in, and sudden departure from, the West Wing, don’t worry; I won’t disappoint you. Though short, those days were some of the Trump administration’s most tumultuous and formative, and I will reveal the stories behind the headlines and expose those responsible for much of the administration’s early discord. I hold nothing back (except the profanity), and spare no one, especially myself.

Still, I’ll tell you the same thing I tell everyone who asks about my eleven days in the White House: it was the twelfth day that mattered. That was the day I got up off the mat again, just like this great country of ours is in the process of doing.

As I sat in my parents’ living room that day, the mailbox on my cell phone filled with messages from reporters. Most of them were probably hoping I would trash the president for firing me, lacing my speech with four-letter words, just as I had done on the phone call with the New Yorker writer (more on that later). Wasn’t going to happen. First of all, I hold no anger toward the president. I’d given him little choice. Second of all, if I learned one thing about talking with reporters, it’s that most of them would double-cross their mothers for a story that goes viral. I should have known that before I started in the White House, you’re probably thinking to yourself, and you’re right.

It was as I looked again at the story of my life on the living room wall that the idea of this book began to form. In the days that followed, I went out to California to see my oldest son, AJ. I made a few appearances on television and the radio, including a tough interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and a fun podcast with the guys from Barstool Sports. I answered every question they asked as honestly as I could. I told them the real story. I didn’t, however, have the chance to tell the whole story.

That is, until now.



“Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.”

President DONALD J. TRUMP inaugural address, January 20, 2017

IMAGINE, IF YOU will, that you’re watching a movie in reverse. My hair goes from its current “Latin American dictator brown” (I tried to dye it “Cuban leader midnight,” but it looked terrible on TV) to Saturday Night Fever black, and then back to a fifth-grade buzz cut. Now I’m in the crib. Then my mom’s pregnant with me. Now she’s a little girl. The skyscrapers in New York are coming down; the Brooklyn Bridge recedes. Roads turn to dirt and then grass. There go Ronald Reagan, Sam Rayburn, Teddy Roosevelt.

Andrew Jackson. Some cavemen.

A bear.

We can stop there: three million years ago.

It’s about 2,700,000 BCE, and the Catskill Mountains, which will become little sissy hills in a few years, are taller than the Himalayas. Their peaks reach about thirty thousand feet above sea level, and they’re wider than most US states. Inside are massive deposits of limestone, sandstone, and shale. Some of the toughest, most malleable material on earth. Wooly mammoths run over the peaks. Primitive versions of the vampire bat—a distant ancestor of Steve Bannon, I believe—hang upside down in the caves. There’s a glacier coming from up north, near what’s now New England. It’s massive and moving, at least by glacial standards, pretty quickly.

A few million years go by.

This glacier sweeps over the East Coast like some giant earthmover and demolishes the Catskill Mountains. Under the ice, all that sediment and rich material that made up the mountains gets broken up and frozen, then gobbled up into the glacial mass. It moves south as the edge of the glacier creeps down the coast until it covers most of the continent.

Then, in 9,000 BCE, the glacier gets stuck. It stops moving at the mouth of a dried-up riverbed near what’s now eastern New York. There it starts to melt at the same rate it advances. Meaning: the thing sits there and melts. For a few thousand years, getting ever smaller, the glacier sits at the edge of the sea and dumps millions of tons of rock, gravel, and sand into the ocean. Before long there’s a big, long pile of sediment and thick, gravelly sand—the largest sandbank east of the Mississippi.

Long Island.

My home.

WHEN MY PATERNAL grandfather, Alessandro Scaramucci, first came to the United States in the 1890s, he blew right past Long Island. He and his brothers had been coal miners in Campagna, Italy. When they heard that they could get good work mining coal in the hills of northeastern Pennsylvania, they dropped their picks and sailed.

What they heard was right. There was coal in the Pennsylvania hills. Plenty of it.

My grandfather and his wife moved west and settled in a small mining town called Plains near Scranton, Pennsylvania. There they mined for anthracite coal during the day and slept in a narrow split-level house at night. The coal they mined went to power multicycle engines, heat houses, and produce electricity for most of America east of the Mississippi. It was good work if you didn’t mind the occasional mine collapse and black lung, and, thanks to the union, it paid a decent wage.

Alessandro, however, hated it. The mines were dark and confined; the air was thick with dust. After a few years of working down in the mines, he quit to open a grocery store. He was more comfortable selling food and supplies to the miners than he was climbing down into the hole with them. In the store, he’d chop meat and work behind the counter as a butcher. In a hardworking town like Scranton, good meat was a luxury. Business was steady for a while.

He and my grandmother had seven children. My father, Alexander, was the youngest. All nine of them lived in a house built for three. One of the reasons I never complained about my upbringing, apart from simple respect for my parents, was that I used to hear my father’s stories about the house in Plains, with its single bathroom and tiny beds split between brothers. Today Zillow lists the house for $43,000. You can imagine what it cost eighty years ago. The house I grew up in was Mar-a-Lago in comparison.

Though coal was king in the early part of the twentieth century, the crown started to slip after World War I. Decreased demand due to alternative fuels, mostly petroleum products, and labor strikes sounded the death knell for coal. Then came the Depression, and coal country was laid to waste. Though there was a slight resurgence during World War II, VE and VJ Day signaled not the coming of the prosperous years most of the county would enjoy, but more despair. Like the Trump rallies during the presidential campaign, coal country was filled with the forgotten Americans. Even when the pages of the New York Times told them things were great—the stock market is on an upswing, the job numbers are high, we’ve got better quality-of-life numbers than ever—people in places like northeastern Pennsylvania felt left behind. No one was listening to them.

IN THE MONTHS after World War II, with the stock market streaking to heights no one had ever imagined possible and the soldiers coming home in droves, both American coasts were alive with celebration. Ticker tape rained from the skies. In Washington, politicians were busy drafting an agreement that would raise Europe from the rubble of the war and help them sustain themselves economically. Significant parts of that continent were in ruins, and politicians feared rapid inflation.

Faced with the decision of whether to let the countries suffer and collapse or to prop them up and establish an international coalition to ensure peace, Congress and the Truman administration chose the latter. It was the right decision. The Marshall Plan, named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall, a retired five-star general who first proposed the plan in a speech at Harvard, gave billions of dollars of aid to struggling European economies. It enabled them to rebuild the roads and bridges that had been destroyed by invasions and bombs, and it gave wary farmers and business owners a kind of assurance that it was safe to get back into the market. More than anything, the Marshall Plan provided these countries security—an assurance that the United States of America would not let them fail. We even accepted an uneven playing field to help them rebuild and grow.

While the Marshall Plan was a good idea for the short term, it would have devastating consequences on the American worker for decades to come. Allow me to explain.

What had to happen for the Marshall Plan to be successful—for the world to be sure it’d seen the last of these all-encompassing wars for a long, long time—was a slight tipping of trade policy in favor of all countries other than the United States. The plan sent billions of dollars of aid to countries like Germany, France, and England—countries that were trying to establish their own mills and factories so they could compete in the global market. This came at the expense of investment in American factories, and laid the groundwork for decades of unfair trade policy.

Here’s an analogy. Imagine there was a baseball league and you had one team with ten of the best players who’d ever played the game—guys like Mickey Mantle, Keith Hernandez, Johnny Bench—and there were another five or six teams filled with minor leaguers and rookies. It wouldn’t be fair, right? The games wouldn’t be fun to watch, and if the lesser teams were spending their whole season getting beat up on, the rookies wouldn’t get any better. This was the situation between the United States and Europe in the aftermath of World War II. Our continent hadn’t seen any fighting, and our factories had been steadily producing for the war effort. We had a team of all-stars.

So, we took cash we could have invested in our own infrastructure and development and gifted it to European countries so that they could build a robust world economy. As you probably know, there was also a significant upside for the United States. European economies provided a huge new market for American goods and allowed us to produce more than we ever had before.

All through the twentieth century, we would continue to make trade policy this way. Our relationships with other countries—our allies in particular—were always built on a framework of benevolence and charity, made under the presumption that healthy competition was a good thing.

In the years immediately following the war, European countries built up remarkable manufacturing infrastructures of their own, allowing the gross national products of Marshall Plan countries to grow as much as 25 percent by the end of the 1940s. While the United States wouldn’t begin feeling the harsh effects of these uneven trade deals for a few decades—right around the time we started to hear words like “tariffs,” “steel,” and “Donald Trump” on the news—there were more immediate consequences too. And most of the burden, as it often does, fell on the working class. (We’ll talk more about this later in the book.)

In the aftermath of the war, towns like Plains saw an influx of uneven competition and the sharp decline of its manufacturing sector. The mills were closing, and the mines were being shuttered. The line for jobs was long. After he had to close his shop, my grandfather took a job as a janitor in a school miles away from home. Every morning, he put on a uniform instead of his butcher’s apron and cleaned up after kids younger than his own. He died of a heart attack before he turned seventy-one.

Alexander Scaramucci, my dad, knew little of the balance of the world’s economy and its effect on places like northeastern Pennsylvania. All he knew was that the future didn’t look friendly. If he stuck around Plains he would have a long life working the coal mines or, worse, no work at all, to look forward to. All around him were poverty and despair. In 1953 he wrote to his brother, Orlando Scaramucci, for help.

Orlando, twelve years older than my father, had joined the army during World War II and ended up in Italy battling the Germans. There he met a young nurse named Jeane. She was a slight woman with soft hands and a nice smile. With the horror of war surrounding them, they fell in love. When the war ended, they moved back to her hometown, a quaint little village called Port Washington on Long Island. They were married in St. Peter’s Church in town. Orlando took a job with Jeane’s father at a company called Gotham Sand and Stone.

Orlando wrote back to my dad and told him to come to Port Washington. The ocean was near, and there was sand enough to dig for lifetimes.

My father headed east right after high school and moved in with his brother. He started to work in the sandpits on the stone dock right after he arrived, making the same motions and building the same muscles his grandfather and father had in the coal mines. But he did it in the open air of Long Island—air that was free of coal dust and scented with salt from the sea.

The town of Port Washington sits on a five-square-mile peninsula jutting into the Long Island Sound, just seventeen miles east of Manhattan. The town is named after our first president, who was quartered there during the Revolutionary War. The area is rich in the history of our fight for independence. Many of the streets are named after the Founders. Off the northern tip of the peninsula, in the Long Island Sound, is a small island called Execution Rocks. A lighthouse stands on the island now, but during the Revolution British troops would chain colonial captives to the rocky shore of the island at low tide and let them die slowly as the waters rose.

It was not out in the Sound, however, but onshore where this story continues. Unlike beach sand, Gotham’s sand was coarse, and it mixed perfectly with cement. Once it was mined, the sand was moved by conveyor belt onto barges in the Long Island Sound, and then tugged by boat to Long Island City. There workers in factories would mix the sand with gravel, cement powder, and water, and then roll it around in big tumblers to make concrete. Trucks would then haul the concrete over the Queensboro Bridge.

Builders and contractors in Manhattan would watch the cement trucks come off the bridge like an endless caravan—the trucks carried some 140 million cubic yards of sand over the years.

The concrete in those trucks would become streets, sidewalks, and the most famous skyline in the world. The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were made from Gotham’s sand.



  • "[Scaramucci] is always didactic but never bombastic, and he employs his self-deprecating sense of humor with remarkable effectiveness, especially in his new book, Trump, the Blue-Collar President. . . . It's as if you're sitting across from Scaramucci and he's talking to you. . . . The book gives an insightful look into [Trump's] popularity and success, because Scaramucci has a real understanding of how Trump thinks."—Newsmax
  • "There actually is more to [Scaramucci]-much more-than his brief tenure at the White House. His journey to millionaire hedge fund manager from humble roots as the son of a blue-collar sand hog from Long Island does make compelling reading."—New York Journal of Books
  • "This book goes a long way in explaining why Donald Trump is President of the Forgotten Men and Women in the country, and why he's our last, best hope! Anthony Scaramucci uses his own working-class roots to explain why Donald Trump is the working man's President, and how Mooch's own 'New York to the West Wing of the White House' journey embodies that American Dream. Learn the true secret of President Trump's success."—Sean Hannity
  • "The Mooch takes us on a great roller-coaster ride-from a working-class suburb, to sparkling Manhattan skyscrapers, to the deepest swamps of our nation's capital. Along the way, we watch an America lost but reenergized under Donald Trump. Insightful, inspiring, and hilarious. A must read. So ordered!"—Judge Jeanine Pirro, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Liars, Leakers, and Liberals

On Sale
Apr 23, 2019
Page Count
304 pages
Center Street

Anthony Scaramucci

About the Author

Anthony Scaramucci is an American financier, entrepreneur and political figure. He is the founder and co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, a global alternative investments firm.

As part of the first generation of his family to attend college, Scaramucci graduated from the Tufts University and Harvard Law School before embarking on a successful career in the financial services industry. In November 2016, Scaramucci was named to President-Elect Trump’s Presdential Transition Team Executive Committee. In June 2017, he was named the Chief Strategy Officer of the Export-Import Bank. He served as the White House Communications Director for eleven days in July 2017.

In 2016, Scaramucci was ranked #85 in Worth Magazine‘s Power 100: The Most Powerful People in Global Finance. In 2011, he received Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year-New York” Award in the Financial Services category. He is a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Scaramucci was born and raised on Long Island, New York, where he still resides today.

Learn more about this author