Stock Market

I’ll judge Trump by how he handles No. 1 threat to US security

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday he would judge President Donald Trump after four years, first and foremost, by how safe the US has been kept.

“That is the No. 1 of the chief executive of the United States,” he said. “And that’s not an easy job.”

Buffett said on “Squawk Box” his top concern is how to prevent rogue nations from getting weapons of mass destruction, and he singled out North Korea as a specific threat.

The health of the economy at the end of four years is a second yardstick by which Buffett said he’d evaluate the Republican Trump administration.

“And then third, I’ll judge him on if the economy does well, which I expected it to do, how wide the participation in a better economy extends.”

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, said he would have judged her by the same standards.

Reminding investors of his past statements, Buffett pointed out that he said the U.S. economy would be fine under Clinton or Trump.

To that end, Buffett told CNBC on Monday that mixing politics and investment strategies would be a “big mistake.”

“Probably half the time [in] my adult life, I’ve had a president other than the one I voted for,” he said. “But that’s never taken me out of stocks.”

Berkshire Hathaway chief, on his investments, said that while he doesn’t personally own an iPhone but he more than doubled his holdings in Apple in January.

After Jan. 1 and before Apple reported earnings on Jan. 31, Buffett also personally bought 120 million Apple shares. Asked why, he said, “Because I liked it!”

The purchases that Buffett revealed on Monday give Berkshire Hathaway about 2.5 percent outstanding Apple shares. It also makes Apple one of Buffett’s company’s largest holdings, second only to Coca-Cola.

At this point, Buffett owns $17 billion worth of the tech giant’s stock. The legendary investor said he upped his stake because of the consumer-retaining power of Apple and CEO Tim Cook’s smart capital deployment strategy.

“Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product, and an enormously useful product to people that use it,” Buffett told CNBC.