Billionaire Trump supporter: U.S. economy at a 'precipice'

Why Carl Icahn says we're at war with business
Why Carl Icahn says we're at war with business

Billionaire Carl Icahn believes the U.S. economy will tank unless Donald Trump is the next president.

"If Trump doesn't win and you get more of the same in the last eight years, we have a major problem in our economy," Icahn told CNN's Richard Quest on Tuesday. "We don't have jobs for the middle class."

Icahn sees numerous flaws in the economy: slow growth, low wages, no business investment, too little manufacturing, and far too much government regulation.

"You can't have a government at war with business. This is what we have today in our country," Icahn said. He thinks Trump should start by reforming the Environmental Protection Agency.

Trump has taken a very anti-Wall Street and, at times, anti-business tone, but Icahn thinks that is just campaign rhetoric.

Icahn acknowledged that Trump is in damage control mode this week, but he is still standing by the GOP candidate because Icahn believes Trump is the only one who can fix the economy. Trump spent much of last week trading jabs with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a U.S. Army soldier who died in the war in Iraq in 2004.

"He's had a very bad week. I'm not going to debate that," Icahn said of Trump's back and forth with the Khan family. "People make mistakes. That was just a mistake."

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Icahn has been loyal supporter of Trump's since the early days of Republican real estate mogul's campaign. Trump has said several times that he wants Icahn to be his Treasury Secretary or work on his team to negotiate trade deals with China.

In his interview on CNN's Quest Means Business show, Icahn said there's no way he would take a formal position in Trump's administration. But Icahn continues to come to Trump's defense, serving as a surrogate in much the same way famed investor Warren Buffett has been campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

Icahn made his fortune as a hedge fund manager. He believes Trump will win in November because the middle class is fed up.

"I think this economy...basically could go over the precipice," Icahn said.

Trump recently released a list of members of his economic advisory team. Icahn was not on it, but Icahn says that's because he prefers to be an informal adviser and that he wants to continue to work on his own PAC to advocate for a major overhaul of business taxes.

Trump wants to slash business and individual taxes. Lower taxes and trade barriers are the cornerstones of Trump's economic plan.

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