Carl Icahn: “I Will Not Be the Treasury Secretary For Donald Trump”

Donald Trump
Image by Ninian Reid

The love affair between Donald Trump and Carl Icahn continues. The two billionaires have been friends for years, but Trump clearly wants the relationship to evolve. He said publicly that his first Cabinet pick (if he wins the Presidential race) would be Carl Icahn for Treasury Secretary. (Source: USA Today, September 16, 2015.)

Icahn is a celebrity investor, famous for his shareholder activism. He amasses large stakes in businesses so he can dictate terms to the companies’ upper management. Whether it’s coercing firms into share buybacks, or to cut their workforce, Icahn is a ruthless negotiator for himself and his investors.

On a June 18th appearance on MSNBC, Donald Trump suggested Icahn’s talent for deal making would make him a phenomenal Treasury secretary. He effectively offered Icahn the job, conditional on him winning the White House.

Carl Icahn Flip-Flops on Trump’s Offer

The day after Trump offered him a tentative Cabinet position, Icahn published a note on his web site politely refusing the position. “I am flattered but do not get up early enough in the morning to accept this opportunity,” he said. (Source: Shareholders Square Table, June 19, 2015.)

However, Icahn changed his tune after watching the first Republican primary debate. He unleashed a brief Twitter rant the following day accepting Trump’s offer.

Granted, the general election is still more than thirteen months away, but Icahn’s tweets indicated he was willing to hold political office. However, when asked about it again, he flatly denied any interest in the position. “I have my day job,” Icahn said. “I’m not going to be Secretary of the Treasury. I thought I made that clear, but maybe I didn’t.” Oh well; better luck next time, Donald.