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Hedge fund manager John Paulson praises Trump accomplishments, says he would re-elect him

Key Points
  • "Aside from the messaging, I think he's accomplished a great deal and I'm supportive of him," John Paulson said in an interview on Monday.
  • Paulson said he agrees with Trump on immigration and border security, saying he's in favor of legal immigration and laws to determine who should be admitted.
  • The billionaire also said that he may convert his namesake hedge fund into a firm that exclusively manages his fortune.
  • Renowned for his bets against the American housing market before the financial crisis, Paulson made billions as the subprime mortgage lending system collapsed.
Hedge-fund manager John Paulson
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Hedge fund manager John Paulson believes President Donald Trump has achieved much since taking office and remains a supporter of the Republican.

"Aside from the messaging, I think he's accomplished a great deal and I'm supportive of him," Paulson said in an "According to Sources" podcast. "Generally, I've been pretty supportive of the policies that he's pursued and, you know, I'd be supportive of him again if he did run for president."

Renowned for his bets against the American housing market prior to the financial crisis, Paulson, now 63, made billions of dollars as the subprime mortgage lending system collapsed a decade ago. Paulson made an estimated $12.5 billion to $15 billion in 2007 alone.

He also made headlines during the 2016 U.S. presidential election as one of the first people on Wall Street to support then-candidate Trump. The hedge fund manager helped shape Trump's economic agenda and has often voiced optimism about the administration's policies.

"I think, first, the corporate tax reform was very needed and a huge benefit for the U.S. economy. I think we'll realize the benefit of that for many years to come," Paulson said in the Jan. 21 interview. "I think, secondly, the reduction of unnecessary regulation has also been a big boon for business across many, many different types of businesses. As unnecessary regulation continues to be peeled back, I think that that'll continue to support U.S. growth."

Paulson also said he agrees with Trump's strategy on immigration and border security.

"I do think we need immigration reform. I do think we need to protect our borders. We have something like 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. Seventy percent have come here across the Mexican border," he said. "I believe we are a country of immigrants and we should have immigration. But I believe it should be legal immigration, and we should have laws that determine who gets to come in. And we shouldn't have illegal immigration."

The billionaire also said during his interview with Mike Samuels that he may convert his namesake hedge fund into a firm that exclusively manages his fortune. Wall Street insiders have long speculated whether Paulson would shutter his struggling hedge fund and focus on managing his own money.

Assets under management at Paulson & Co. have plunged from a peak above $30 billion to less than $9 billion, with 75 to 80 percent of the remaining money belonging to Paulson himself. The manager said that he'll likely make any decision to convert his fund into a private management firm over the next two years.

Paulson added that he could choose to run a hybrid business whereby one part manages his assets and the other manages client capital with a profit-sharing agreement.

— Click here for the "According to Sources" podcast.