Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Monday he doesn’t believe former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is worth almost $37 billion.
“I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that,” Trump said during a CNN interview, after host Wolf Blitzer noted Bloomberg’s reported net worth, as estimated by Forbes.
Trump also said Bloomberg’s financial data and news company was overvalued and far more unstable than the real-estate empire on which Trump has built his fortune.
“It’s a technology company — I mean, if someone came in, frankly, and comes up with a better machine than him, people would stop using his machine,” Trump said.
He was referencing Bloomberg terminals, the systems that provide users with real-time news and financial data.
“I don’t know even know why other companies haven’t come up with a better machine. Why? It’s so simple. I mean they come up in such a competitive world, but for some reason they haven’t come up with a better machine. I don’t know. Maybe because he was the mayor of New York? I don’t know,” Trump said.
Bloomberg is reportedly mulling a run as an independent candidate on a centrist, technocratic platform. He reportedly may jump into the race if Trump clinches the Republican nomination and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) becomes the Democratic nominee.
On Monday, Trump reiterated that he’d love to square off against Bloomberg in a theoretical general-election matchup.
“I would love for Michael to do it,” Trump said. “We used to be friends. I guess we’re not anymore friends anymore. I don’t think we are.”
Trump’s own personal wealth was the subject of some scrutiny last year before the billionaire disclosed his personal finances.
In July, he lashed out at Bloomberg News and the former mayor himself after the media organisation ran an analysis asserting Trump’s net worth at just under $3 billion — far less than Trump had claimed on financial-disclosure statements. Trump implied that Bloomberg may have asked his reporters to underestimate Trump’s net worth out of jealousy.
“Maybe Michael told them to do it,” Trump told the Daily Mail. “Maybe he did, because he always wanted to do what I’m doing.”
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