×

Warren Buffett: Americans Should ‘Overwhelmingly’ Support Trump’s Cabinet Picks

On the eve of the presidential inauguration, all eyes were on another businessman — multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the central figure in HBO’s upcoming documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett,” which held its premiere on Thursday evening at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.

“[Buffett’s] legacy is still yet to be determined — whether that be as the great investor or as the great philanthropist,” said director Peter Kunhardt. “He’s reached the top of the mountain. There’s no one like him.”

Produced by Kunhardt’s sons, Teddy and George Kunhardt, the feature-length doc follows Buffett’s life from a math-obsessed paperboy in Omaha, Neb., to the famed Berkshire Hathaway CEO and one of the world’s wealthiest people, with an estimated net worth just shy of $72 billion.

“Everyone wants to get into Warren and ask, ‘How do you make a billion dollars?’ We want to know what makes you tick, what makes you the man you are today,” said George Kunhardt. Teddy Kunhardt added, “We always had the theme of the man behind the money.”

The film also delves into Buffett’s love story with late wife Susan Buffett, who passed away of oral cancer in 2004, and influenced the investor’s transition from a Republican to a Democrat.

“[Susan] really brought him a heart,” Teddy Kunhardt said. “As he says in the film, if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t be as successful in business as he is.”

Though Buffett was undoubtedly the star of the red carpet, conversations revolved around another businessman who was about to celebrate a different momentous event.

“The film didn’t peg to come out during the inauguration. It has nothing to do with that,” George Kunhardt said. “But I think it’s a very positive thing to reinforce these values Warren believes in — that all lives are equal, everyone has importance.”

When asked about President Donald Trump’s controversial cabinet picks, Buffett stated the American public should “overwhelmingly” support the politician’s decisions. Though he would “feel that way no matter who is president.”

“I really think a CEO, what I am, should have the ability to pick the people to help you run things. If they fail, then it’s your fault, you gotta get somebody new. Maybe you change the cabinet,” Buffett said.

As for what his hopes for Trump’s presidency, Buffett spoke of his support of raising the national minimum wage.

“I’m interested in seeing people who haven’t participated in our incredible prosperity,” he said. “If they work 40 hours a week, they should have decent funds.”

In terms of his own wealth, Buffett suggested he would rather be remembered for his philanthropic work, providing vaccines and education for those in need, than his income.

“The money I have is a ridiculous amount. It has no utility on me,” he said. “It can do wonders for other people. It can’t do anything for me. When they bury me, they won’t bury me with any money.”

“Becoming Warren Buffett” premieres Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Keke Palmer BlogHer19 Summit

    Keke Palmer Brought to Tears Accepting Truth Teller Award at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit

    Keke Palmer stood surprised and wide-mouthed on the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit stage as she was presented with the Truth Teller Award for her recent acting work — and her viral “sorry to this man” clip. “This means so much,” the multi-hyphenated star softly whispered as she got teary-eyed upon accepting the award. Last week, the [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content