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Trump's new communications director may have Russia problem of his own
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is looking into whether the new communications director broke the law when he met in January with a Russian sovereign wealth fund that is under U.S. sanctions.
By Lucas Rowe
Contributor
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Anthony Scaramucci took on the role of a communications director this month for a White House that is embroiled in Russia-related scandals and eager to shift attention away from them, but Scaramucci may have inappropriate Russia ties of his own. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is looking into whether the new communications director broke the law when he met in January with a Russian sovereign wealth fund that is under U.S. sanctions.
Warren has been sending the White House and the Treasury Department inquiries since January regarding this meeting, in which Scaramucci discussed possible joint investments with Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. This fund is one of the Russian financial firms that U.S. citizens are prohibited from conducting certain financial transactions with under sanctions that the United States enacted in 2015 in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea.
A day after the meeting, Scaramucci had an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS and told the interviewer that U.S. sanctions on Russia are not working. Warren has been seeking answers from the Trump administration as to whether Scaramucci might be unduly influenced by his Russia financial interests and whether he was running afoul the sanctions with the meeting.
"An individual under investigation for such violations should not be nominated to serve in the U.S. government," Warren wrote in a June 15 letter to Trump, following reports that Trump intended to appoint Scaramucci for an ambassadorial post.
The White House and the Treasury have both ignored Warren's requests so far. On May 12, Matt Kellog, the Treasury's deputy assistant secretary of legislative affairs, told Warren that her letters were forwarded to the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Warren has not received any follow-up from Treasury since then, but she said she will continue to push the issue.