Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital II LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Scaramucci, economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, discussed the accuracy of polls in the U.S. presidential election and Trump’s economic policy and support of free trade. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg (Christopher Goodney)
Long before President Donald Trump’s communications director Anthony Scaramucci was dropping F-bombs at his boss’s perceived enemies, he was just another aspiring attorney studying at Harvard Law School. So what was The Mooch, a 1989 Harvard Law grad, like during his time on campus? Well, that depends on whom you ask. As Scaramucci’s first week working for Trump ended in spectacular fashion, we rounded up some highlights about him as a 1L, his advice for current law students, and how a former professor feels about him today.
To hear Scaramucci tell it, he spent his early days on campus hiding in the law library and avoiding his classmates. “I was very intimidated by Harvard Law School and thought I was in for massive annihilation, so I holed up in Langdell and spent too much time there,” Scaramucci told students during a 2010 visit to the law school to promote his book, “Goodbye Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune Without Losing Your Soul,” according to a story on the law school’s website. “I wish I had spent more time meeting my classmates. I encourage students to spend time meeting each other.” Scaramucci’s appetite for studying apparently waned by the time he graduated in 1989. He told students that he failed to study for the bar exam, and subsequently failed the test.
‘A Big Personality’
Harvard classmate Richard Kahlenberg recalls a much different and more confident young Scaramucci in an article published Friday in Washington Monthly. Scaramucci was seen as a “big personality” and “exuberant figure” on campus who did things like proposing to his girlfriend on a Times Square billboard, wrote Kahlenberg, who is an author and fellow at the Century Foundation. “Scaramucci was a well-liked and high-profile figure in the class of 1989,” he wrote. “The son of working-class parents from Long Island, neither of whom were college graduates, Scaramucci enjoyed challenging Harvard’s pretensions.” Scaramucci was apparently unafraid to take an intimidating tax professor down a peg in class with a pointed comment about his hair.
An A- in Constitutional Law
Scaramucci may have failed the bar exam, but he seems to have performed well in professor Laurence Tribe’s constitutional law class. In an interview on CNN Sunday, Scaramucci boasted to host Jake Tapper that he earned an A- in the class. Tribe was apparently unimpressed, telling the New York Daily News the following day that Scaramucci’s grasp of the subject now seems tenuous. “I was surprised to hear Anthony Scaramucci mention on CNN the A- he received in the constitutional law course he took from me at Harvard in the late 1980s,” Tribe said. “The syllabus that year apparently didn’t cover the issues associated with abusing the pardon power to obstruct justice. Either that, or Mr. Scaramucci has forgotten some of what he learned.” Ouch.
The First Rule of Harvard Law School …
Bravado may be Scaramucci’s calling card, but during a 2016 campus visit he advised law students to downplay their educational pedigrees and not allow their Harvard Law degrees to go to their heads. “I have one piece of advice I want all of you to take with you when you leave this school: immediately quit acting like you went to Harvard Law School,” Scaramucci said, according to an article in The Harvard Law Record. “The sooner you stop acting like a Harvard alumnus, the better off your career will be.”
He doesn’t seem to be following his own advice, however, telling CNN’s Tapper on Sunday: ”Since I went to Harvard Law School, I probably would have asked a few people” before taking the meeting,” when asked about Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort’s highly scrutinized meeting with a Russian attorney last year.
Scaramucci’s time on campus briefly overlapped with another notable name: Barack Obama. The former president graduated in 1991—two years after Scaramucci. But according to Scaramucci, the two men rubbed elbows, literally. During his 2010 campus talk, he admitted to fouling Obama on the basketball court.