Jamie Dimon, CEO of top investment bank JPMorgan Chase, set tongues wagging after he went on record to say that former US President Donald Trump was “kind of right” about certain key issues, including the economy, immigration and relations with China.
“He’s kind of right about NATO. Kind of right about immigration,” Dimon said in an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday. “He grew the economy quite well. Tax reform worked. He was right about some of China.”
During his presidency, Trump criticised NATO for being “obsolete” and called on member states to pay more, alleging the US shouldered an unfair financial burden. More recently, he declared that the US would “quit NATO” if he wins a second term.
Trump also advocated an America-first approach, that saw stricter border controls, building a wall on the US-Mexico border, and reducing legal immigration.
As a China hawk, Trump had initiated a trade war with China, imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods to address trade imbalances and alleged unfair practices.
‘RESPECT TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS’
Dimon, who has previously donated to Democratic causes, called on Democrats to show more respect towards voters supporting Trump’s 2024 campaign, cautioning that “negative talk” could hurt Joe Biden’s chances in the presidential election.
The billionaire banker’s comments come amid a political climate where Biden frequently criticises Trump’s ardent followers and the far-right faction of the Republican party, often referring to them as “ultra MAGA”. Dimon criticised this approach, warning that it could be detrimental to Biden’s re-election efforts.
“When people say MAGA, they’re actually looking at people voting for Trump, and they think they’re voting — they’re basically scapegoating them, that you are like him. But I don’t think they’re voting for Trump because of his family values,” he said.
Dimon, who has shown preference for Nikki Haley over Trump, said Americans should be “a little more respectful” toward voters backing Trump, who remains the frontrunner in the upcoming New Hampshire primary, despite facing a more competitive field.
“…he [Trump] wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues, and that’s why they’re voting for him. And I think people should be a little more respectful of our fellow citizens,” said the JPMorgan executive.
Trump’s recent victory in the Iowa caucuses, where he won nearly all of the state’s counties, are testament to his continued influence within the Republican party. Yet, as the primary season progresses, Trump faces a more diverse electorate in New Hampshire, where polls indicate a tightening race with Haley gaining ground amongst moderate voters.