Obama’s alleged pick for the next French ambassador, billionaire Marc Lasry, has issued a statement claiming he is not accepting any such appointment. His statement, however, has stirred up rumors that his tangled past involving questionable poker games may have been the reason for his refusal.
Bill Clinton, a close friend of Lasry's, accidentally let it slip that Lasry was perhaps being considered for the appointment. However, Lasry pulled out this week before a formal announcement of the appointment, citing his commitments to Avenue Capital, his hedge-fund business where he works as CEO and chairman.
"I am very grateful to have been considered," Lasry wrote in a letter. "I would like to put the speculation to rest and let you know that I will be remaining at Avenue."
The New York Post reported Friday that Lasry is known for his “close friendship” with a 27-year-old Russian who was charged last week with 34 others for conducting an illegal, high-stakes poker game at the Carlyle Hotel in New York.
“Marc Lasry is a big-time gambler, in golf and poker. He's a 'master of the universe' type," a source told the Post. "It's not that he committed a crime, but it opens a can of worms."