(REPORT) — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will be a non-governmental advisor to President-elect Donald Trump on issues such as deregulation said Trump’s transition team Wednesday.
Icahn will advise Trump as an individual, not a federal employee, and won’t have specific duties or receive any salary according to the transition. This means that the businessman won’t have to separate himself from his businesses, including millionaire investments in fossil fuels.
He is a critic of the U.S. biofuels program that requires oil companies to use renewable fuels such as ethanol. “I do believe that, to some extent, we have gone overboard concerning the environment,” Icahn told CNN in a recent interview.
The 80-year-old investor opposes several regulations in federal organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, and has said he has doubts over how much human beings affect climate change.
Icahn said it was time to “break free of excessive regulation” and let businesses create jobs, in a statement released by Trump’s team. He made his fortune investing in companies and endorsed Donald Trump at the beginning of his presidential candidacy, defending the candidate when a recording of Trump was released where he made sexists comments about women.
Icahn helped shutter the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resorts in Atlantic City this year, two years after buying it out of bankruptcy.
“Carl was with me from the beginning and with his being one of the world’s great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated,” said Trump. “He is not only a brilliant negotiator but also someone who is innately able to predict the future, especially having to do with finances and economies.”
Trump had hinted on several occasions during his campaign that Icahn could be his pick for secretary of treasury. According to the Wall Street Journal, Icahn interviewed candidates for Trump’s Securities and Exchange Commission and has held meetings at his New York City office, not far from Trump Tower.
“Voters who wanted Trump to drain the swamp just got another face full of mud,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement, referring to Trump’s pledge to clean up Washington.
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