Published: Sun, August 20, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Icahn gives up title as Trump 'senior adviser'

Icahn gives up title as Trump 'senior adviser'

"I chose to end this arrangement (with your blessing) because I did not want partisan bickering about my role to in any way cloud your administration", Icahn wrote in a letter to Trump.

"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 when he tapped Icahn for the advisory spot in December.

Mr. Icahn announced his resignation a few hours before The New Yorker published an online article about the conflicts created by his advisory role.

The announcement from Icahn, the founder and majority shareholder of conglomerate Icahn Enterprises, comes days after a number of business leaders resigned from the White House's American Manufacturing Council in the aftermath of Trump's response to last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. A call to Icahn's office was not immediately returned.

"I never had a formal position with your administration nor a policymaking role". Icahn also spoke with Trump and his top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, about ethanol.

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In a letter to Trump posted Friday on Icahn's website, he denied profiting from his advice-giving role - a possibility raised by Democratic critics who have asked officials to investigate his work. Icahn reportedly holds an 82-percent stake in the Sugar Land, Texas-based company, acquiring a controlling interest in 2012.

But Icahn's involvement was considerable. Oil Daily, a trade publication, said on August 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to reject a regulatory change that Icahn had long sought. His web of financial interests became a lightning rod. "If he's not a government employee, then his advocacy could make him an unregistered lobbyist".

"His short tenure, marred by serious conflicts allegations, was yet another black eye for an administration that has become notorious for violations of ethics and the rule of law". The Democrats argued that Icahn, as an unpaid adviser to Trump, recommended personnel and policies that they assert caused the price of renewable fuel credits to drop.

Biofuels regulations require refiners either to blend biofuels into petrol or - in the case of companies like CVR that have no blending facilities - to buy credits from competitors.

Icahn, 81, attended President Trump's post-election victory party but left in the early hours of the morning to bet about $1 billion on USA equities, he told Bloomberg at the time. Investors have built up a large short position in CVR in the past three months, as evidence mounts that the company's gamble on the biofuels market is going sour.

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