Warren Buffett, the famed investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is behind Donald Trump, even if he didn’t support him in the election.
“I support any president of the United States,” said Buffett. “It’s very important that the American people coalesce behind the president. Doesn’t mean they can’t criticise him or they can’t disagree with what he’s doing maybe but we need a country unified by a president.”
Buffett noted that Trump tapped into economic frustrations, particularly among the white working class, that have been cited as one of the main reasons Trump was able to defeat Clinton. From the interview:
“[The]Forbes 400 [wealthiest people] had $93 billion in 1982 and they have got 2.4 trillion now. That’s 25 times as much. If you’ve been working 40 hours a week maybe holding a second job, and you work with the little league and you’ve been a good parent, and you’re really struggling, going, what’s wrong with this picture? And you want to change the picture, and apparently more went in to the voting booth and decided that Trump was the answer.”
Buffett notably got in a spat with Trump following the second presidential debate when Trump cited Buffett as one of Clinton’s “friends” that took advantage of the same tax loopholes he had used to allegedly avoid paying federal taxes for years.
Buffett, in response, released his tax information showing he only took charitable deductions and challenged Trump to release his own returns, something every presidential nominee had done since the early 1970s. Trump never released his returns.
Despite the spat, it appears that after the dust has settled, Buffett respects the results of the election. Additionally, Harlow asked if Buffett would assist Trump during a recession in the event that the president-elect called him for advice.
“I would do that with any president,” Buffett told Harlow. “I’ve never called a president in my life. So I don’t initiate them. But if any president asked me for help in any way, that’s part of being a citizen.”
Despite the support, Buffett did take a dig at Trump’s multiple bankruptcies over his business career.
“Well, he had some major failures,” said Buffett
“He was very good a licensing and he was very good at things that involved promotion of his name. Actual operation of the businesses in the 1980s and 1990s, you know, it left him essentially bankrupting multiple companies. But he — I would say that the understands business. But his record has been better at licensing… than putting out his own capital, yes.”