Was this meeting at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, so different from all the others?
In a day filled with meetings at his Golf Club, President-elect Donald Trump met with the Ari Emanuel, the co-CEO of a Hollywood talent agency named WME-IMG. Trump dubbed Emanuel as the “King of Hollywood” according to the New York Times. Some have speculated that this meeting was about a potential cabinet position, but the spokesperson for Emanuel says that he was not interested in being part of Trump’s administration, and was only meeting to “discuss some concerns he had.”
Emanuel is a longtime friend, and former agent, of Trump. During Celebrity Apprentice, Emanuel represented Trump in negotiations with NBC, and WME-IMG purchased the Miss Universe Organization when Trump sold it in the Summer of 2015. At the end of the meeting, Trump called Emanuel a “great friend.”
Like his friend and prior client Donald Trump, Ari Emanuel has not kept an immaculate record as a businessman. In 2002, he settled a lawsuit in which Emanuel was accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, among other things. During the trial, he disputed accusations of homophobic and racist remarks. According to his accuser Sandra Epstein, she was blocked from sending a script about NAVY Seals to Wesley Snipes because “Everybody knows that blacks don’t swim.”
Emanuel’s political lineage runs deep as well. Rahm Emanuel, Ari Emanuel’s brother, was previously White House chief of staff under Barack Obama and is currently the mayor of Chicago, and Ezekiel Emanuel was one of the chief architects of the Affordable Care Act.
During the election, Ari Emanuel donated to the Clinton campaign.
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Gabriel Lehrman is a former Social Media Intern at The Forward. Follow him on Twitter @LivefromLehrman.