Ethics Flags Raised: Carl Icahn Profiting As Donald Trump’s ‘Special’ Adviser?

Ethics flags have been raised left and right since Donald Trump because President of the United States.

According to the New York Times, ethics flags were raised as soon as the billionaire Carl Icahn was named as Donald Trump’s special adviser for regulatory matters. From the moment Icahn was named as the special adviser, he began working hard to revamp the Environmental Protection Agency rule that controls the way corn-based ethanol is mixed into the gasoline used across the United States.

Head shot of Carl Icahn as he is being interviewed
Carl Icahn under fire [Image by Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images

On the surface, most wouldn’t think anything of Carl Icahn’s efforts given that it fits right into the campaign promises of Trump which included to break the United States free from “excessive regulation.” New York Times notes that it is an additional detail about Carl Icahn himself that is what originally raised the ethics flags about his “special” position.

Carl Icahn is the majority investor of an oil refinery named CVR Energy that is based in Sugar Land, Texas. According to New York Times, the refinery would have saved a little more than $200 million last year if the fix Icahn is pushing for now had been in place then. This, for obvious reasons, has led many to wonder whether Icahn is pushing for regulatory changes that are in the best interest of the United States or the best interest of his own pockets.

Carl Icahn is a man who is known for being very persistent when it comes to investing. Carl has put the same efforts and skills he applies to investing to his new role as Donald Trump’s regulatory adviser.

The relationship between Carl Icahn and Donald Trump has already had one fairly clear outcome. When Trump was running for POTUS, Carl was very supportive – and vocal about his support. He donated $200,000 to Republican causes during the campaign. As Icahn continued to support Donald Trump, the stock prices of CVR Energy continued to soar.

While ethnic flags have been raised and conflict of interest has been a concern from the moment Donald Trump became President, Icahn’s role in Trump’s administration is one of the most troubling conflicts of interest to emerge so far.

According to Fortune, several senators – with Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island leading the pack – sent a letter to Carl Icahn to call him out on his blatant conflict of interest. The group of senators pointed out in the letter that as Trump’s advisor, Icahn was making policy proposals that would benefit his own personal investments.

“We write because we are increasingly concerned about the role you are playing in the Trump Administration and the possibility that you are breaking federal conflict of interest laws.”

Fortune notes that neither Carl Icahn or a representative of him have been immediately available for a comment regarding the obvious conflict of interest. While Trump’s administration has attempted to downplay exactly how much of a role Carl Icahn is playing in the administration, the senators that sent him a letter believe Carl should not be playing a role in decisions as all. Is Trump’s administration and Carl breaking federal laws by allowing him to continue as the special adviser? The senators seem to think so.

“Your ownership of each of these companies – and others – raises alarming questions about how you, and the Trump Administration, are handling your many conflicts of interest.”

In December, when Trump made the announcement that Carl Icahn would be serving as his special adviser, Trump made a point to say that Icahn would “not be serving as a federal employee.” He also noted that Carl would not have any special duties.

The letter from the senators is filled with dozens of questions they want answered regarding Carl and his connections to the Trump administration. Just how much of a role is he playing? Did he receive waivers from ethics requirements? Was he required to diverse any of his financial holdings in order to hold this position?

Donald Trump speaks on the phone to someone
Donald Trump's administration raises ethics questions [Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Do you think Carl Icahn as Trump’s special adviser raises ethics flags? Do you think he is profiting from his position? Share your thoughts with us in the comment’s section found down below.

[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images & Tom Pennington/Getty Images]