Real-estate mogul Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to hike taxes on the “hedge-fund guys” in recent days.
But the Republican presidential front-runner argued Monday night that those hedge-fund managers would actually be better off under a Trump administration.
“The truth is they’ll do just fine. They’re going to do just fine because we’re going to make the country so successful,” Trump said at a raucous rally in Dallas, Texas. “They’ll end up doing better. They’ll end up doing better.”
Trump made the comment after vowing to reform the tax system so that the middle class pays less.
“Are there any hedge-fund guys in this room? If there are, you should probably leave right now,” Trump joked before recalling an incident in which a friend in the business called to lament about Trump’s campaign-trail hedge-fund proposals.
The billionaire developer has taken a more populist approach to Wall Street than most of his GOP rivals. Trump previously blasted some corporate salaries as a “complete joke” because they are too high. And he has said “the hedge-fund guys are getting away with murder” under the current tax system.
“I have a friend in the hedge-fund business. Not really a friend. Not actually a nice guy. But he’d be good representing us [in my administration], I will tell you,” Trump recalled at the Monday rally. “Because the time I finish, he may not have much of a hedge fund left.”
Trump added that his not-quite-a-friend in the hedge-fund business barely paid any taxes despite making incredible amounts of money.
“I said, ‘What did you make last year?’ He said, ‘About $250 million.’ Can you believe this? This is serious. I said, ‘Oh, that’s a lot of money. What did you pay in taxes?’ He goes, ‘Practically nothing.’ That was a couple years ago,” he continued. “I never forgot it.”