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Ken Langone: 'Trump is the fever, he's not the disease'

Longtime Republican supporter Ken Langone, the founder of The Home Depot (HD) and chairman of Invemed Associates, said that President Trump is not the reason for divisiveness in the U.S..

“[We’ve] been divided for a long, long time. And if you want to pick an inflection point, I would say the [Vietnam] war. That was when we really began to get divided because we were involved,” Langone said at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit. “And by the way, I was wrong. I was 100% wrong. I thought it was a worthwhile war. It was not. It was a horrible war. It was a huge mistake, and it divided this country like nothing ever before.”

According to Langone, there are a number of issues that the American people are split on and have been split on prior to Trump’s time in office.

“Trump, to me, is the fever, he’s not the disease. The disease is the anger and frustration that the American people have with their government and the leadership of that government. And I think Trump, like it or not, this is the consequence of the disgust of the American people with what’s going on in Washington for too long.”

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Home Depot co-funders Ken Langone interviewed by Julia La Roche speaks during the 2018 Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at The Times Center on September 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Langone, who said he’s a “supporter of what [Trump] does,” said one of the “greatest payoffs” of his presidency is that it will motivate people “other than career politicians” to run for higher office.

“So how do I feel about Trump? He’s different. He’s different. But if you don’t think he deserves a lot of credit, maybe not all of it, but a lot of credit for the prosperity we’re all experiencing right now. It’s the greatest economic expansion we’ve had, probably, in 50 years. In fact, this morning’s numbers were the lowest they were since 1969. That’s 49 years ago.”

Langone expects that Trump will be reelected in 2020.

“And don’t kid yourselves, that 35% he’s got is as solid as the granite that Manhattan stands on. 2020, he’s got to get 15% of the votes, and he’s in. Go look and see. Watch him with these rallies he goes around to. And the more absurd things he says, the bigger the crowds get. OK. So what. All right. I answered that question?”

Watch the full Langone interview here >>

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter. Send tips to laroche@oath.com.