New York (AFP) - JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon said he could "beat" US President Donald Trump in an election Wednesday, but then quickly walked back the comments.
Dimon, appearing on a panel discussion to unveil a new economic development program for cities, mocked the US president's intelligence and the original, familial source of his wealth.
"I think I could beat Trump... because I'm as tough as he is, I'm smarter than he is," said Dimon, according to CNBC. "I can't beat the liberal side of the Democratic party."
"And by the way this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money," Dimon added. "It wasn't a gift from Daddy."
But the JPMorgan chief, who is known for his occasional bluntness, immediately backtracked from the remarks.
"I should not have said it. I'm not running for President," Dimon said in a statement released by the bank's press office less than an hour after CNBC reported the original remarks.
"Proves I wouldn't make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems."
In addition to serving as head of JPMorgan, the biggest US bank by assets, Dimon is also a big player in Washington, serving as chairman of the Business Roundtable, a Washington lobbying organization representing most of the biggest US corporations.
The group has praised Trump's moves to cut taxes and reduce regulation, but has criticized the administration's trade and immigration policies and completely avoided direct criticism of the president himself.
Dimon last year called bitcoin a "fraud," later expressing regret about the remark.
He also turned heads in July 2017 by saying it was "almost an embarrassment to be an American citizen traveling around the world" due to political gridlock in the US.
"We have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing litigious societies," he said at the time. "It would be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions to end that gridlock."