Bill Ackman Is Likely to Endorse Trump After Backing Longshot Candidates

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor Bill Ackman is likely to support Donald Trump in November’s election, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

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The Pershing Square Capital Management founder had been looking for alternatives to Trump and President Joe Biden. He backed Republicans including Nikki Haley in the primaries, and donated to Representative Dean Phillips, who mounted a longshot challenge on the Democratic side.

But Ackman is leaning toward Trump now that he’s the Republican candidate and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent, is unlikely to win, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The potential endorsement suggests Ackman’s disdain for Biden, who he said last month wouldn’t get his vote, outweighs his trepidation about another Trump term. After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Ackman tweeted at Trump that “it is time for you to resign and apologize to all Americans.”

A spokesperson for Ackman declined to comment. The Financial Times earlier reported his leanings.

Ackman is joining a number of Wall Street executives, including Blackstone Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Schwarzman, who have said they will support the former president after previously seeking out other options. While the hedge fund manager has traditionally donated to Democrats, he said last year he is “much more open to Republican candidates” than reelecting Biden.

Ackman has taken several political stands in recent months, calling diversity, equity and inclusion efforts an “inherently a racist and illegal movement.” He’s also been an outspoken critic of the student protests on college campuses over humanitarian conditions in Gaza and advocated to oust Harvard University president Claudine Gay, who stepped down in January.

Trump has also been winning over non-finance billionaires. Miriam Adelson is planning to give millions of dollars to support his 2024 re-election effort after not committing to any candidate earlier this year. He has also been seeking counsel from Elon Musk.

Read more: Musk Counsels Trump on Crypto in Sign of Billionaire’s Sway

Trump has also picked up an endorsement from his former rival Haley.

The outpouring of support comes as Trump awaits a verdict in a criminal case dealing with hush money payments to an adult film actress.

Read this next: Wall Street Billionaires Rush to Back Trump, Verdict Be Damned

--With assistance from Laura Davison.

(Updates with Ackman’s Jan. 6 Capitol riot reaction in fourth paragraph.)

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