President-elect Donald Trump has chosen billionaire Carl Icahn to be his special adviser when it comes to overhauling the massive amount of federal regulations that are unnecessary. In a Thursday interview with CNBC, Icahn said he’ll be “rallying against over regulation” when he serves as Trump’s special adviser in the White House.
Icahn plans to give the president-elect advice on overhauls and regulatory appointments. However, critics say there may be a conflict of interest to have Icahn serve in this capacity, since he has investments which could be positively affected by these overhauls. When this point was brought up to Icahn, he said that he won’t be dictating who gets hired and he won’t be making any of the policies. Instead, he is just giving advice to the president-elect, who will then use his own judgment as to whether he should take that advice.
The 80-year-old Icahn wants the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to enforce more accountability from public companies. Plus, Icahn wants companies to reinvest in their own businesses in order to grow them rather than just repurchasing stock. He said the only way to do this is to overhaul the overregulation.
Trump has praised Icahn publicly since he started his presidential campaign. In September 2015, Icahn publicly gave his endorsement to Trump and was even considered for the job of Secretary of the Treasury, but Icahn wasn’t interested in that role. Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trailer also mentioned putting Icahn in charge of U.S. trade with China.
Icahn is currently worth $20 billion. He made most of his money from investing in other businesses. Some of the most notable businesses he’s invested in include eBay, Xerox, Cheniere Energy, Hertz Global Holdings Inc., and Apple Inc. He first gained attention in the 1980s as a successful corporate raider in New York City.