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President Barack Obama would like to dispel the notion that Donald Trump is America’s most successful businessman.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek published Thursday, Obama dismissed the idea that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was America’s most successful entrepreneur.
“There’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump,” Obama said.
He added: “I know those guys, and so do you, and I guarantee you, that’s not their view.”
Throughout the interview, Obama attempted to push back on Trump’s economic vision. The president said that he often advises interns not to “believe people when they tell you they wish they could go back to the good old days,” a major theme of Trump’s campaign.
But the president also pinned some of the anxiety about trade that’s fueled Trump’s rise on corporate leaders and shareholders who failed to share profits with their employees.
“If I am a CEO in a boardroom right now, I should be thinking about, how do I make sure my workers are making a decent wage? And if I’m a shareholder, that is something I should be paying attention to, too, because if you’re not, that’s when you start getting the kinds of political pushback that you’re seeing here in the United States. That’s how you start getting a Brexit campaign,” Obama said, referring to Britain’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union.
He added: “Over time, you’ll strangle this goose that’s been laying you all these golden eggs. Share the eggs.”
Obama’s comments came as presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has sought to undermine Trump’s business record.
In a speech on Tuesday, the former secretary of state repeatedly noted the rockier parts of Trump’s career in business, noting his bankruptcy filings in the 1990s.
“He’s written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11. Go figure,” Clinton said.