In what could be yet another scandal brewing for the White House – this time one involving insider trading – former Donald Trump adviser Carl Icahn reportedly sold millions in steels stocks right before the president announced his widely criticized steel tariffs.
While most of the political and business world were stunned by Trump’s announcement, Icahn was “seemingly unvexed, having dumped a million shares tied to the steel industry a week before the president announced 25 percent tariffs for foreign-made steel,” according to The Washington Post.
More from the report:
A Feb. 22 SEC filing shows Icahn sold off his $31.3 million stake in the Manitowoc Company, which is a leading global manufacturer of cranes for heavy construction based in Manitowoc, Wis., according to the company’s website. Since Trump’s announcement Thursday, Manitowoc’s stock has plummeted to about $26. Icahn — who has had majority interest in several companies including Motorola, Xerox, Family Dollar and Pep Boys — had sold his shares for about $32 to $34 each, according to the SEC disclosure, which was first reported by Think Progress.
Even more puzzling, as the report notes, is that “Icahn had not actively traded any Manitowoc stock since January 2015, according to regulatory filings.”
Ironically, as the Daily Beast pointed out a short time ago, “Icahn stepped down as a special adviser to Trump on regulatory reform issues last August, but the two are still thought to be in close contact. He resigned amid increasing scrutiny over whether he was using his White House role to push policies that would protect his investments.”
Trump’s tariff announcement “shocked” everybody but his close buddy
If it seems like Icahn had advanced knowledge of Trump’s decision, it could be because he did. According to the Washington Post story, “Though Icahn no longer advises Trump in a formal role, the two reportedly still talk.”
It’s also not as if everybody saw this coming. As the Washington Examiner pointed out, Senate Republicans were “highly critical” of and “blindsided” by Trump’s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum. It also shocked the markets.
So either one of Trump’s close friends is really good at predicting what seemingly nobody expected, or he had advanced knowledge of it. If it’s the latter, then Trump could soon find himself at the center of an insider trading scandal.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.