For a few minutes there, it looked as if Jamie Dimon was on a mission to speak truth to power, specifically U.S. President Donald Trump.
"I think I could beat Trump" in an election, the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) chief executive said at an event Wednesday morning meant to celebrate the bank's philanthropy. "I'm as tough as he is, I'm smarter than he is."
Within a couple hours, though, the 62-year-old billionaire bank exec had thought better of taking on the President.
"I should not have said it," Dimon said in a statement released by the bank. "I'm not running for president. Proves I wouldn't make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems."
Still, it was an unusually feisty original remark from Dimon, who was a member of a group of business leaders participating in the president's strategy and policy forum, until the group disbanded last year following Trump's response to a rally in Charlottesville attended by neo-Nazis. After the rally turned violent and a protester was killed by a white supremacist, Trump said there were good people on both sides of the issue.
On the other hand, Dimon has praised Trump policies that cut taxes on the wealthy and on corporations. After Trump became president, Dimon said he had reawakened "animal spirits" in the U.S.
Before withdrawing his remarks, Dimon also had took a shot at how the President acquired his wealth. Trump's father Fred was a wealthy real-estate developer in the outer New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
"And by the way this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money," Dimon said. "It wasn't a gift from daddy." Dimon has a net worth of about $1.4 billion, compared with $3.1 billion for Trump, according to Forbes.
Trump hasn't responded to Dimon's comments, perhaps because they've been withdrawn.
JPMorgan shares fell $1.29, or 1.1%, to $113.14 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. So far this year, the bank is up about 6.3%, better than peers including Citigroup Inc. (C) , Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) , Morgan Stanley (MS) , Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC)
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