Richard Branson warns against a Donald Trump presidency after recalling ‘bizarre’ meeting between the pair

The Virgin tycoon says he left the meeting 'disturbed and saddened'

Olivia Blair
Saturday 22 October 2016 10:21 BST
Donald and Melania Trump with Richard Branson in 2002
Donald and Melania Trump with Richard Branson in 2002 (Getty)

Sir Richard Branson has warned Donald Trump’s “vindictive streak” is why he should not be the next president of the US after recounting an encounter with the Republican nominee where Mr Trump allegedly vowed to spend the rest of his life destroying five people.

The Virgin founder said he was invited by Mr Trump to his Manhattan apartment for lunch several years ago when they had not met before.

“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,” Branson wrote in a blog post. “He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.

Sir Richard says he found the conversation “bizarre” and claims he told Mr Trump he didn’t think it was the best way to spend his life.

“I said it was going to eat him up and do more damage to him than them,” he wrote. “There must be more constructive way to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn’t lead to him running for President!)”

The 66 year old said he left the lunch feeling “disturbed and saddened by what I’d heard” and says the meeting contributed to him backing Hillary Clinton in the election.

“What concerns me most, based upon my personal experience with Donald Trump, is his vindictive streak, which could be so dangerous if he got into the White House. For somebody who is running to be the leader of the free world to be wrapped up in himself, rather than concerned with global issues, is very worrying.”

The entrepreneur said he contrasts that lunch with one he had with Ms Clinton where they instead talked about the war on drugs, educational reform, women’s rights, global conflicts and the death penalty.

“As she understands well, the President of the United States needs to understand and be engaged with wider world issues, rather than be consumed by petty personal quarrels,” he concluded.

This is not the first time the politically vocal businessman has spoken out against Mr Trump previously saying while he wants an entrepreneur for President he believes Mr Trump would be a “disaster” and called him “unfit for office”.

On this side of the pond, Sir Richard was an impassioned Remainer and called for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, arguing that the Leave camp repeatedly misled voters.

A representative for Mr Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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