(Bloomberg) — President-elect Donald Trump named billionaire investor Carl Icahn a special adviser to help him overhaul federal regulations in ways the Republican said would promote business growth.
“His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable,” Trump said in a statement announcing the appointment.
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The two men are mutual admirers. Icahn endorsed Trump in September 2015 and had been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary, an idea he repeatedly dismissed. Trump often spoke admiringly of Icahn during his presidential campaign and cited him as an example of the kind of business person he would seek advice from if elected.
Icahn, with an estimated net worth of $20 billion, is the 20th richest man in the U.S., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Icahn holdings include biotechnology, energy, metals, auto parts, casinos, telecommunications, real estate and rail cars. He primarily invests his own fortune, rather than relying on money from outsiders.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker criticized the conflict of interest of being “in charge of overseeing regulatory overhauls while simultaneously controlling or owning stock in companies that could benefit from the changes he makes.”
“The corrupt nature of this arrangement cannot be understated,” Walker said. “Voters who wanted Trump to drain the swamp just got another face full of mud.”