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Short-seller Jim Chanos says he will support Joe Biden if he runs for president in 2020

Key Points
  • Famed short-seller and Democratic donor Jim Chanos plans to support former Vice President Joe Biden if he runs for president in 2020.
  • "Like many other Americans, I certainly hope Vice President Biden decides to run in 2020. If he does run, I fully expect to support him any way I can," Chanos said in a statement first given to CNBC.
  • When asked how much he's looking to spend to support a potential Biden candidacy, Chanos first responded "lol no comment" and added: "Let's see if he decides to run, first."
Jim Chanos
David Orrell | CNBC

Famed short-seller and Democratic donor Jim Chanos plans to support former Vice President Joe Biden if he runs for president in 2020.

"Like many other Americans, I certainly hope Vice President Biden decides to run in 2020. If he does run, I fully expect to support him any way I can," Chanos said in a statement first given to CNBC.

When asked how much he is looking to spend to support a potential Biden candidacy, Chanos first responded, "lol no comment," and added: "Let's see if he decides to run, first."

A spokesman for Biden declined to comment.

Chanos, a longtime friend of Biden's, planned to support the former Delaware senator last time he was mulling a run for president ahead of the 2016 election. Chanos did not give to Hillary Clinton's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Chanos, who founded Kynikos Associates, has a history of supporting Democratic candidates, potentially making him a key financial ally for Biden if the former vice president chooses to run for president in 2020.

Chanos reportedly hosted a $10,000 a plate fundraiser in March 2018 to benefit House Democrats during the midterm election campaign. Biden was the special guest at the event.

While records show Chanos gave minimally during the 2018 race, he donated just over $50,000 to President Barack Obama's Victory Fund during his 2012 re-election bid. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2016 saw Chanos donate over $55,000 to their cause.

The records don't reflect the fundraisers or other efforts Chanos has made in the past behind the scenes to help Democrats get elected.

Biden has been in touch with donors about possibly running for president in 2020 and has privately acknowledged he's leaning toward entering the race, according to people with direct knowledge of the talks. Biden has not made a final decision.

Chanos would not say whether he has heard from Biden.