Republican businessman Ken Langone on Wednesday blew up the Capitol Hill riot last week and charged CNBC with feeling “betrayed” by the actions of President Donald Trump that led to the deadly events.
“I think the biggest mistake anyone will make is trying to rationalize what happened last week, what the president did and what that crowd did,” Langone told Squawk Box. “There shouldn’t be any mitigation at all. It was horrible. It was wrong. I’m shocked.”
Trump’s supporters overtook the U.S. Capitol exactly a week ago to prevent Congress from completing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the electoral college. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and repeated lies about widespread fraud in the November elections helped anger his supporters, and during a speech in Washington, the president encouraged supporters gathered in the city to march to the Capitol.
“I feel betrayed,” said Langone, who has been very supportive of Trump’s economic policies over the years and at times also criticized the president, for example for his reaction to the deadly rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
“Last Wednesday was a shame,” added Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, who has donated to Republicans over the years. “It should never have happened in this country. If it doesn’t break the heart of every American, something is wrong. It sure breaks my heart. I didn’t sign up for it.”
Langone, who is the chairman of the board of directors of NYU Langone Medical Center, called on Americans to rally behind Biden and give up bias.
“From day one, I will do everything I can to make sure I do my part in making Joe Biden the most successful president in this country’s history,” said Langone. “There is a selfish reason for this, we have very serious major problems to solve in America,” such as the coronavirus pandemic and public education.