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Trump names Jewish businessman Carl Icahn as special adviser

President-elect’s transition team praises 80-year-old investor for ‘intimate knowledge of what businesses need to thrive’

Carl Icahn participates in a panel discussion at a New York Times conference in New York City on November 3, 2015.  (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times via JTA)
Carl Icahn participates in a panel discussion at a New York Times conference in New York City on November 3, 2015. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times via JTA)

Jewish businessman and investor Carl Icahn has been named as a special adviser to President-elect Donald Trump on regulatory reform issues.

Icahn, 80, was an early supporter of Trump’s candidacy, according to a statement from the Trump transition team, “and his intimate knowledge of what businesses need to grow and thrive makes him a trusted voice in developing President-elect Trump’s America First economic agenda.”

He will be advising Trump as a private citizen and not serve as a federal employee or special government employee, nor will Icahn have any specific duties, according to the Trump team.

Icahn was under consideration for Treasury secretary, but Trump ultimately named former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin, who also is Jewish, to the post.

“Carl was with me from the beginning and with his being one of the world’s great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated,” Trump said in a statement. “He is not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future, especially having to do with finances and economies. His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”

Icahn is the founder of Icahn Enterprises, a diversified conglomerate company based in New York City formerly known as American Real Estate Partners. He has also held substantial or controlling positions in numerous American companies over the years, including RJR Nabisco, Texaco, Philips Petroleum, Western Union, Gulf & Western, Viacom, Revlon, Time Warner, Motorola, Chesapeake Energy, Dell, Netflix, Apple and eBay.

Icahn is a major giver to Mount Sinai hospital in New York City, among other philanthropic endeavors. In 2012, he donated $200 million to the renamed Icahn School of Medicine there.

In addition, Icahn established seven Icahn Charter Schools in the Bronx borough of New York.

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