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Trump’s Top Fundraiser Eyes the Deal of a Lifetime

Steven Mnuchin might have a shot at Treasury secretary, but his Wall Street pedigree makes him the type Donald Trump fans love to hate.

Until one Tuesday in April, Steven Mnuchin’s life had been ordered meticulously. The son of a Goldman Sachs partner, he was publisher of the Yale Daily News, was tapped into Skull and Bones, made partner at Goldman, ran a hedge fund, and invested in Hollywood blockbusters. One thing followed another. Then, on April 19, the day of the New York primary, Mnuchin’s life veered.

He was supposed to be at a dinner downtown, but after receiving a last-minute invitation to Donald Trump’s victory speech, he stopped by Trump Tower. Mnuchin—53, stiff bearing, stylish black glasses—was milling around, swallowing some Trump-brand wine, when the candidate swanned into view. The two had worked together on building deals years earlier. The billionaire beckoned his friend to follow him onto an escalator, and suddenly they were both onstage, Trump jabbing at the roaring crowd and bragging that the group assembled behind him included some of the world’s great businessmen. Mnuchin beamed. From where he stood, Trump’s iridescent hairdo was almost close enough to pat. He spotted a monitor, glimpsed his own face, and realized he was on TV.