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Boone Pickens: I support Trump and his plan to ban unvetted Muslim immigrants

Billionaire energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens reiterated his support behind Donald Trump for president on Wednesday.

Speaking at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas, Pickens stated: “Yes, I’m for Donald Trump.”

Pickens, 87, said that the immigration policy needs to change. He also agrees with Trump’s idea to propose a ban on Muslim immigration into the US.

“I like his immigration policy," Pickens said. "I didn’t say it’s permanent. But I’d cut off the Muslims coming into the United States until we can vet these people."

“We’ve got to know," he continued. "We all look too much alike. I mean we’re coming into the United States— the three of us— they can’t tell by looking at us. They can tell I’m the oldest or something."

Pickens said that the last eight years have been “pretty tough to deal with” due to what he argued was a lack of leadership in Washington. He said that Trump may be the only one who can change anything.

“He may change something," Pickens said. "I do think Donald Trump is smart enough. He’s going to get help. He’s already said that he’s got to have a vice president that has political experience. I’m tired of having politicians as president of the United States.”  

During the panel, moderator David Westin, the cohost of “Bloomberg <GO>”, pressed Pickens and his fellow panelist Sam Zell, the chairman of Equity Group Investments, on the numbers, specifically pointing to how the unemployment rate has fallen.

“That’s bulls——,” Zell responded to applause from the audience of nearly 1,200 hedge fund professionals. Zell said that he thinks there’s more underemployment and more temporary jobs.

“I think we have more underemployment in the United States because we’ve dis-incentivized our society, we made it much more difficult to achieve, and we have a president who’s informed me that ‘I didn’t build that.’ And that’s preposterous” Zell said, igniting more applause from the crowd.

“I agree with that one-hundred percent,” Pickens replied, adding, “I’m ready to go for change.”

He said that he’s “ready to take a chance” on Trump.

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Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.

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