Less than two weeks to the historic 2016 US presidential election, maverick British billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sir Richard Branson, says Republican presidential flag bearer, Donald Trump, is a “very vindictive, rather dangerous, rather sad man”.
The Virgin Group founder who was speaking during an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle said he ‘loves the idea of having an entrepreneur in the White House — as long as it’s not Donald Trump’.
“I would feel very uncomfortable — very, very uncomfortable — with somebody like Donald Trump in the White House,” he told Ruhle, after she quizzed Branson on his recent blog post describing a business lunch many years ago when the two billionaires met for the first time.
“Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people. He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre,” Branson wrote in the post.
“For almost the whole lunch he talked about his bankruptcies,” said the baffled Brit, who heads up several philanthropic initiatives that aim to improve the lives of African women, work towards global peace, end climate change, and support homeless youth.
“He could have been talking to me about interesting things in the world, entrepreneurship, how the world could be made better. It was one of the most extraordinary bizarre lunches I’ve ever had.”
Branson shot down any comparison between the two billionaires, saying Trump was “not a massively successful business person.”
“One bankruptcy can be forgiven,” scoffed Branson. “But two: very questionable. Three… most successful business people do not go through that kind of career.”
Lunch with Clinton
Lunch with Hillary Clinton was very different, noted the billionaire ballooner, saying that when he and the Democratic nominee had met, they discussed global warming, the death penalty, gun control, women’s rights, Iraq, and Iran.
“She was interested and it was a fascinating lunch,” he told Ruhle.
When Ruhle asked how Branson would react if Trump were to win the presidency, Branson said, “I’ve got an island, I’ll go hide out on that.”
Meanwhile, both Trump and Clinton are revving up their campaigns in the crucial state of Florida with Trump upbeat about his chances of winning the state. He told his teeming supporters that it would be crazy for anyone to vote for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.