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Carl Icahn Steps Down as Adviser to President Trump

Carl Icahn Steps Down as Adviser to President Trump

On Friday, perhaps lost amid the high-profile exit of chief strategist Steve Bannon, financier Carl Icahn, the wealthiest of Trump's circle, announced he would no longer serve as a special advisor on financial regulation after criticism from biofuel advocates and Democratic lawmakers claimed his policy recommendations could help his own investments.

The post linked to a letter on his website, in which he stated that he "never had a formal position" with the Trump administration, The New York Times reported.

While Icahn stopped managing money for clients years ago, he still has large stakes in companies like Herbalife, CVR and American International Group, which have faced regulatory issues.

"Following his apparent failure to win a regulatory change on ethanol rules that would benefit his personal empire, Carl Icahn is taking his ball and going home", Robert Weissman, the president of the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen, said Friday.

Icahn said he had received a number of inquiries during the last month asking whether his informal role might clash with Trump's appointment of Neomi Rao, an attorney and former clerk for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Icahn's departure capped a tumultuous week for the White House following controversial comments by Trump that seemed to lend legitimacy to white supremacists and sparked a wave of CEO departures from presidential advisory panels.

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Carl Icahn today joined a host of other business leaders who are jumping off of the Donald Trump train. Yet environmental regulators are preparing to formally reject that proposal, sources said.

"Contrary to the insinuations of a handful of your Democratic critics, I never had access to nonpublic information or profited from my position, nor do I believe that my role presented conflicts of interest", the billionaire said in his statement, adding that he "never sought any special benefit for any company with which I have been involved".

Icahn endorsed Trump for president in September 2015 and was frequently mentioned as a potential treasury secretary, a role he repeatedly said he had no interest in.

An outspoken and cantankerous investor, Mr. Icahn has at times shared the spotlight with the president. The Democrats argued that Icahn, as an unpaid adviser to Trump, recommended personnel and policies that they assert caused the price of renewable fuel credits to drop.

Trump often spoke about Icahn on the campaign trail and touted their relationship. It was a suggestion that Icahn quickly declined.