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Trump's transition team vetted Endeavor's Ari Emanuel

Stacy Perman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Endeavor CEO and Hollywood uber agent Ari Emanuel was the role model for fictional super-agent Ari Gold on HBO's "Entourage." As it turns out, he was also vetted for an unspecified role in the Trump administration during the transition in November 2016.

The disclosure came as Emanuel's vetting dossier was revealed as part of a trove of nearly 100 transition documents leaked to the political news site Axios. Culled from public documents, news reports and election financial disclosures, they include detailed information on current and former Cabinet members and other figures including Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.

Emanuel, a Democrat -- his brother Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago, served as President Obama's first chief of staff -- has longtime ties to President Trump. The William Morris Endeavor Agency represented Trump during his time starring on "The Apprentice." In 2015, the agency -- known as WME-IMG -- acquired the Miss Universe pageant from Trump.

The vetting document, which does not identify what role Emanuel was potentially being considered for, highlights a number of media articles detailing the relationship between Emanuel and Trump, his financial support for Democratic candidates and raises a number of red flags and potential political weaknesses.

A spokesperson for Endeavor declined to comment.

The document highlights an interview Trump gave in which he described Emanuel as "a very good friend of mine." In another clip from 2015, it notes that Emanuel asked Trump to donate $50,000 to his brother's first run for mayor.

 

Among the "political vulnerabilities" cited, in addition to Emanuel being a Democrat, they include his failure to support Trump during the presidential campaign, his support for gun control and past issues at Endeavor, including a 2002 employee lawsuit that alleged sexual harassment (the suit was settled for $2.25 million).

The document poses a series of questions including: "Will you have any personal issues during times when the Trump administration faces partisan criticism from Democrats, including your brother Rahm or President Obama?"

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

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