Trump Has Raised Billionaire John Paulson as Potential Treasury Pick

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump has talked about hedge fund titan John Paulson as Treasury secretary if he wins the November presidential election, and has held a series of meetings with potential cabinet picks, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Paulson’s name has come up in recent discussions, according to those familiar with Trump’s thinking, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The conversations were informal and any discussions about a possible cabinet are preliminary. The presumptive Republican nominee hasn’t made any decisions about whom he would choose to have serve in top positions of a second administration and is known to change his mind.

Other potential names in the mix for the top Treasury post, should Trump defeat incumbent President Joe Biden, include former US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, Susquehanna International Group LLP founder Jeff Yass and Key Square Group LP founder Scott Bessent, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

“There have been no discussions of who will serve in a second Trump administration,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said.

Representatives for Paulson, Yass, Lighthizer and Bessent either declined to comment or were not immediately available to comment.

Last month, Paulson hosted a fundraiser for Trump’s reelection at his Palm Beach home, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the mega-donors on the guest list were Woody Johnson, Harold Hamm, Wilbur Ross, Kelcy Warren, Steve Wynn and Diane Hendricks. Donors committed to each spending at least $1 million in support of Trump.

Paulson is scheduled to hold another fundraiser for Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, with Howard W. Lutnick, chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald, according to people familiar with the event.

The ex-president has publicly floated the possibility of Paulson serving in his potential cabinet.

“And John Paulson, the great John Paulson made plenty of money in Nevada. Doesn’t live there, but he makes a hell of a lot of money. He makes money everywhere he goes, actually. So, money machine. Maybe we’ll put, you know what, put him at Treasury. You want to make a little money?” Trump said after his New Hampshire primary win in January, acknowledging Paulson.

Paulson is worth about $4.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

--With assistance from Amanda Gordon, Katherine Burton and Shawn Donnan.

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