- Billionaire businessman and longtime political donor Les Wexner announced that he is quitting the Republican party during a panel discussion in Columbus on Thursday.
- Wexner is the CEO of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.
- He has been outspoken about President Trump. In January, he posted a public video online, criticising the president’s comments on immigration.
Billionaire businessman and longtime political donor Les Wexner is quitting the Republican party, saying he’s had enough of the “nonsense.”
“I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,” Wexner said during a panel discussion with local business leaders in Ohio on Thursday evening, the same day that Obama visited Columbus, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
“I’m an independent. I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party,” he said. “If you don’t think things are right, open your mouth.”
Wexner and his wife Abigail have donated millions of dollars to groups that support Republican candidates over the years. In 2015, Wexner wrote a $US500,000 check to a group that supported the campaign of Jeb Bush.
However, in recent years, his political beliefs seem to have shifted as he has become increasingly outspoken about Trump.
In January, he posted a public video online, criticising Trump’s comments on immigration after the President referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole countries” in a White House meeting. “This is not acceptable,” Wexner said in the video.
This was the second time he had spoken out against the President. In August 2017, he criticised Trump’s response to a woman being killed by a white supremacist during a racially-charged rally in Charlottesville.
“Hearing the remarks of yesterday, I repeat that this is not acceptable,” he said in the video.
Wexner also commented on his encounter with Obama:
“I was struck by the genuineness of the man; his candor, humility and empathy for others,” he said during the panel on Thursday.
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