Last year, Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese financial colossus, began negotiating an investment in a Manhattan apartment tower owned by Mr. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner, 36, is now one of the president's most influential advisers, with a White House portfolio that is expected to include handling America's relationship with China. Mr. Trump has taken a hawkish stance toward China, threatening to raise tariffs on Chinese imports, and demanding that China abandon the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea in an attempt to bolster its claim to the vast area.
Compared with Mr. Kushner, Mr. Scaramucci appears to be making a clean break from his business, SkyBridge Capital. Although the sale price could rise as high as $230 million, depending on the company's future performance, Mr. Scaramucci's payment is fixed, he said in an interview on Monday.
HNA is a newcomer to the asset management field in the United States, and companies like SkyBridge — so-called funds of funds that act essentially as middlemen investing clients' money in hedge funds — have experienced pain in recent years. Citing high fees and disappointing performance, investors have withdrawn billions from such firms. SkyBridge's asset pool has shrunk by more than $2 billion since mid-2015, and its flagship fund posted its second straight year of negative returns in 2016.
While Mr. Kushner's negotiations with Anbang apparently raised few eyebrows in Mr. Trump's inner circle, some White House officials appear to view Mr. Scaramucci's sale of his firm to HNA with more suspicion. Mr. Scaramucci was left out of the group of about two dozen White House aides who were sworn in on Jan. 22.
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One White House official cited concerns that it could take as long as three months for the SkyBridge deal to close and be approved by the ethics office. Mr. Scaramucci's lawyer said this period of time was standard for any large, complex deal.
A White House spokesman did not comment on Mr. Scaramucci's status.
Allies of Mr. Scaramucci's said the sale of his company was a red herring, and attributed the delay in his swearing-in to objections from Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, who they said had not favored giving Mr. Scaramucci a White House position. Mr. Priebus's allies denied that.
In an interview, Mr. Scaramucci rejected any notion that HNA was seeking a friend in the administration, saying that his company was a highly attractive investment and that HNA was a logical buyer. HNA has described the purchase as an important toehold in the American market for its growing asset management businesses.
Even if HNA was hoping for influence, Mr. Scaramucci said, he has walled himself off from any discussions with the Chinese company. David Boies, his lawyer, said Mr. Scaramucci went well beyond what was required to rule out any perception of a conflict of interest.