Mark Cuban explained Monday how he believes Donald Trump would be a “puppet president” during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
The brash billionaire and business mogul said Trump has proven over his run that he has no grasp of policy. And without that understanding, he’ll have to rely on those around him to get anything done.
“If you look back over the past 10 months, you don’t say, ‘Look, he’s really started to show an in-depth grasp of all the issues that he’s talking about,'” Cuban said. “It’s the exact opposite.”
“He speaks in headlines,” he continued. “He tries to make headlines without doing any type of deep policy dives. If you don’t understand the issues, if you don’t have in-depth knowledge of your policies and the reasons why they may or may not work, then you’re going to have to listen to other people.”
The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” also said Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, would “have to be guided by others in everything” should he be elected in the fall.
“And so because of that, he’s going to be a puppet president,” Cuban said. “And whoever is closest to him is going to have a lot more impact on this country than probably Donald will.”
Cuomo asked Cuban if he’s trying to make a sneaky play to be that person close to Trump as the Manhattan businessman’s running mate.
Cuban has previously expressed interest in serving as Trump’s vice president, even as he’s appeared to have soured on Trump’s candidacy in recent weeks. Cuban also expressed interest in serving as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s running mate, which Clinton expressed an openness to during a recent “Meet the Press” interview.
“No it’s not a sneaky play on my part,” Cuban said. “I mean if it were a sneaky play, I’m not being very sneaky, am I?”
He said his best partnerships have come with people who don’t think exactly like him. He then drew contrasts with Trump — Cuban said, for instance, that he knows the tech world, while the real-estate magnate “doesn’t even send emails.”
“Donald doesn’t have a clue about tech,” he added. “I’m an independent. I can discuss things with both sides of the aisle. There’s no sneakiness about it. I think I compliment his skill set very well.”
Cuban also made a point of chastising Trump’s rationale for not releasing his tax returns. Trump has said he won’t release his taxes while under an IRS audit, a reasoning that has been questioned by both sides of the political aisle. Leaders in both parties have demanded that Trump release his taxes ahead of the November election.
“There’s nothing to preclude you from showing your taxes,” Cuban said. “That’s your property. And the fact that you’re being audited, if he’s like me he gets audited every year. The process is the same and you know, it’s really not going to change anything.”
He continued that whether or not Trump pays a low tax rate, which the returns would show, isn’t as important as Trump’s perspective on taxes.
“At some point, you have to recognise that you get a lot of advantages in this country,” Cuban said. “He and I have been incredibly blessed to have our opportunities in this country. And if you ask me, the most patriotic thing you can do in this country after military service is pay your taxes.”
Cuban recently claimed that “it’s not even close” between himself and Trump as to whether has more in liquid assets. He also cast doubt on whether Trump is a billionaire.
“I’ve gotten a lot from … this country and I feel like I owe them back something,” he later said. “He doesn’t feel that way and that’s his choice.”
Watch clips from Cuban’s CNN interview below:
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