Scaramucci resigns from Tufts University

Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci resigned from a Tufts University advisory board Tuesday. / Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

By Ryan Grewal, news correspondent

Weeks of friction between former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and the Tufts University law school culminated with his resignation from the law school advisory board.

Scaramucci, a Tufts alumnus who found success in the finance industry, served on the board from June 2016 until Tuesday morning, during which time he served as President Donald J. Trump’s communications director. His 11-day stint in the White House abruptly ended after his profanity-laden conversation with New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza.

His conflict with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy community arose in early November when Fletcher graduate student Carter Banker began a petition to remove “The Mooch,” as Scaramucci is often derisively called, from the board.

The Tufts Daily, the university’s student newspaper, published two op-ed pieces by Fletcher graduate student Camilo Caballero, who called Scaramucci unethical and urged his removal from the board. Scaramucci sent both Cabellero and The Daily cease and desist letters Nov. 21 through his lawyer, Samuel J. Liberman. The letter sent to The Daily claims that the op-eds defamed Scaramucci.

“Your baseless accusations of Mr. Scaramucci being an ‘unethical opportunist’ and dishonest have caused particular damage to Mr. Scaramucci’s business in the investment advisor and journalism industries – both of which rely on professional trust,” the letter read.

Gil Jacobson, The Daily’s editor-in-chief, ran the letter Monday, after consulting with legal experts on the situation.

“My first instinct [upon receiving the letter] was to contact the Student Press Law Center,” he said. “We spoke to a lawyer from the SPLC and from there decided to publish the cease and desist and from there we decided to wait and see.”

Following the publication of the letter, Tufts cancelled a Nov. 27 event where Scaramucci was scheduled to appear. Scaramucci posted a winding and long-winded letter to the Fletcher community defending his seat on the board Monday night; however, the following morning he announced his resignation, telling The Daily he left because of the event cancellation.

“My involvement with the Trump administration, and the infamous nature of my firing, are not reasons to remove me from the Fletcher School Advisory Board,” Scaramucci wrote in his open letter. “Those unique and valuable experiences make me an even more valuable resource and well-rounded advisor.”

Second-year undeclared Tufts student Mert Erden said as an international student from Turkey, he finds Scaramucci’s reaction to the op-ed strange.

“I’m personally an international student and actually find it very weird that some … alum is trying to sue a school newspaper for having an editorial,” Erden said. “The fact that he’s suing over opinion just sounds very unfounded to me.”

Erden also said although the threat of lawsuit seems scary, he doesn’t think the newspaper will get into real trouble.

“Obviously, I feel bad for The Daily — do I necessarily think anything bad is going to happen to them? Probably not,” Erden said. “I think Scaramucci is sort of overreacting to this entire event.”

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