The week can’t end fast enough for President Trump. Between the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Virginia, to the departure of Steve Bannon from the White House, and everything that happened in the middle, Trump ends his Friday with learning that billionaire businessman Carl Icahn stepped down from his role as a special adviser to President Trump.
Icahn made the decision after facing criticism that policy recommendations he offered to the White House could help his own investment portfolio.
At the core of the criticism were DC Democrats who made the case that Icahn’s guidance to the Trump administration created a serious conflict of interest with his businesses, including his oil refining company CVR Energy Inc.
Icahn has denied any conflict of interest, but the pressure by Democrats and the mainstream media was enough to force the billionaire into stepping away.
In a letter to the president which was later published online, Icahn wrote, “I chose to end this arrangement (with your blessing) because I did not want partisan bickering about my role to in any way cloud your administration.” He continued, “I never had access to nonpublic information or profited from my position.”
According to Reuters, “as an adviser to Trump, Icahn urged the president in February to alter the policy to lift the blending burden from refiners. Yet environmental regulators are preparing to formally reject that proposal. Investors have built up a large short position in CVR in the past three months, according to Reuters data, as evidence mounts that the company’s gamble on the biofuels market is going sour.”
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