Hedge-fund founder Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served in the Trump administration, told CNBC on Friday he wants the SPAC linked to former President Donald Trump to succeed because it may stop him from running in the 2024 election.
Scaramucci’s comments on “Squawk Box” came as shares of special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corp., which plans to merge with the newly created Trump Media & Technology Group, soared again in Friday’s premarket trading. Shortly after Wall Street’s open, DWAC again surged higher, one day after shares jumped more than 350% to close at $35.54 apiece on the late Wednesday tie-up announcement.
“I want that thing to go up like another 10 times. The more it goes up, the less likelihood Donald Trump is running for president in 2024, so I’m rooting for that SPAC,” said Scaramucci, who founded the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital and served as White House communications director for a mere 10 days in July 2017.
Scaramucci said Trump is dangerous to American democracy.
“He was part of the insurrection,” he added, referring to the deadly assault at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. “You know, I personally think he’s a domestic terrorist. I want the guy out, as far away from politics as possible.”
Trump was kicked off Twitter and Facebook in the aftermath of Jan. 6, when thousands of his supporters violently stormed the Capitol as Congress sought to confirm Trump’s Electoral College defeat to now-President Joe Biden. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting the riot, although the Senate later acquitted him.
Before he was banned from the sites, Trump was a frequent poster on Twitter and Facebook, using his large followings to fuel his political ascent.
Trump, who still holds sway over many Republican voters, has hinted at the possibility of running for president again in 2024. Some members of the GOP, such as retiring Sen. Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, have urged their party not to nominate Trump, who has repeatedly lied about the outcome of the 2020 election.
News of Trump Media & Technology Group’s planned merger with DWAC first surfaced Wednesday night. Trump also said then he intends to launch his own social media network called “TRUTH Social,” suggesting the platform will “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”
DWAC is what’s known as a blank check company, which raises capital through an IPO with the goal of using those proceeds to acquire a private firm and bring it to the public markets. While SPACs have been around for a while, they surged in popularity last year. After a record start to 2021, the SPAC trend has lost its luster.
It’s not entirely clear what’s behind the explosive move in DWAC shares, but the stock has become incredibly popular on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum. The online message board gained notoriety earlier this year when its members flocked to GameStop, AMC Entertainment and other companies, establishing those securities as so-called meme stocks.
Despite wanting its price to go up, Scaramucci said he’s not planning on investing in DWAC at all.
“I am not into media disinformation and garbage propaganda, so no, I would not buy it. I try to stay away from those things,” said Scaramucci, who also encouraged any Wall Street firms that owned DWAC before it became linked to Trump to dump their holdings. Some already have done that.
Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Scaramucci’s remarks.
Scaramucci started SkyBridge in 2005 and had a prior stop at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in the investment bank’s private wealth management group.
He worked on Trump’s presidential transition team in 2016, before leaving Wall Street to become White House communications director. He was dismissed from that role after only 10 days, when The New Yorker published a piece on an expletive-filled rant Scaramucci delivered to a reporter at the magazine.
Scaramucci has donated to Republicans recently, including in November to the campaigns of now-former Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both of Georgia, according to Federal Election Commission records. Perdue and Loeffler lost in runoff elections to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, giving the Democrats control of the Senate.