- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson said he was pleased that President-elect Donald Trump chose some Wall Street bankers to join his incoming White House administration.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Tilson said of Trump’s supporters, “I think Donald Trump conned them,” pointing to the president-elect’s frequent campaign-trail tirades against bankers’ influence in Washington.
Tilson said he “can take glee” in knowing some Trump supporters might be disappointed by Trump’s latest Cabinet picks.
The president-elect’s transition team announced this week that Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin would be nominated as Treasury secretary. Mnuchin is a Goldman Sachs alum and would be the third such person to run the US Treasury Department since the 1990s. Trump also picked billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to serve as secretary of commerce.
In the last weeks of the election, Trump adopted the catchphrase “drain the swamp” as a declaration to rid Washington of insiders who are out of touch with ordinary Americans.
Tilson said he was relieved Trump appeared to be surrounding himself with bankers and businessmen, recalling that he was worried Trump “was going to do crazy things that would blow the system up.”
“The fact that he’s appointing people from within the system is a good thing,” he said.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders released a joint statement on Wednesday torching Trump for picking Mnuchin, calling the decision “hypocrisy at its worst.”
“That is not the type of change that Donald Trump promised to bring to Washington,” they said.