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University delays talk by ex-White House official after lawsuit threat
November 27, 2017 / 2:34 PM / 17 days ago

University delays talk by ex-White House official after lawsuit threat

BOSTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A Massachusetts university delayed a planned talk on Monday by Anthony Scaramucci, who had a brief and tumultuous stint as White House spokesman, after he threatened to sue its student newspaper over a critical column.

Tufts University postponed the planned talk by Scaramucci, a hedge fund executive and alumnus of the school, after he sent a threatening letter to the Tufts Daily student newspaper and to the author of an op-ed piece criticizing his place on the university law school’s board of advisors, citing concerns over unspecified “unethical behavior.”

“We’re disappointed that Mr. Scaramucci has taken this action,” Tufts spokesman Patrick Collins said in a Monday e-mail. “In light of recent developments, we are postponing the event until these pending legal matters are resolved.”

The letter, dated Nov. 21 and written by an attorney for Scaramucci, said that the financier was “ready to take legal action” over the allegation, but would not do so if the paper retracted the claim of unethical acts and publicly apologized.

“I was ready to come to the school,” Scaramucci said on Twitter late Sunday. “Nobody is going to call my ethics into question without a fight. An apology will suffice.”

U.S. President Donald trump named Scaramucci as White House communications chief in July, but fired him 10 days later after Scaramucci profanely attacked two White House staffers in comments to a reporter with the New Yorker magazine.

A student petition earlier this month called for the university to remove Scaramucci from the board advising the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Democracy.

In a Monday op-ed in the student newspaper, graduate student Camilo Caballero, the author of the column that drew Scaramucci’s anger, repeated a call for the financier to be removed from the board.

“There is a long-term opportunity cost to keeping Scaramucci on the board,” Caballero wrote. “This cost is the potential loss of loyalty and pride among current and former students.” (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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