Republican businessman Ken Langone said that he felt “betrayed” by President Donald Trump and vowed to support Joe Biden.
“I think the biggest mistake anybody is going to make is try and rationalize what happened last week, what the president did and what that crowd did,” Langone told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There should be no mitigation at all. It was horrible. It was wrong. I’m shocked.”
Trump’s supporters rallied at statehouses across the U.S. last week to protest against the counting of Electoral College votes.
Trump considered the rally around the U.S. Capitol by his supporters as a natural result of his triumph at the U.S. election being “stripped away.” However, officials found no proof of electoral fraud, and lawsuits challenging the results have failed in court.
On Twitter, before his account got suspended, Trump appeared to have offered sympathy for the rioters.
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt,” Trump said. “But you have to go home now, we have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order.”
In another tweet sent, Trump seemed to have defended the violence.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” he wrote. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
“I feel betrayed,” said Langone, who is a known supporter of Trumps’ economic policies over the years. There were also times when he criticized the president, such as his response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
“Last Wednesday was a disgrace,” said Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot who has donated over the years to Republicans. “It should never have happened in this country. If it doesn’t break every American’s heart, something is wrong. It breaks my heart, for sure. I didn’t sign up for that.”
Langone, the chairman of the board of the NYU Langone Medical Center, called on Americans to support Biden and denounce partisanship.
“I’m going to do everything I can from Day 1 to make sure I do my part to make Joe Biden the most successful president in the history of this country,” Langone said. “There’s a selfish reason for that, we’ve got very serious major issues in American to deal with,” such as the coronavirus pandemic and public education.
Another Republican who withdrew her support for Trump is Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., chair of the House Republican Conference. She announced that she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
Liz Cheney is the first member of House GOP leadership to support Trump’s impeachment. Cheney’s statement issued on Tuesday evening shows her frustration about the mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
“Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough,” her statement reads. “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
The third-ranking Republican official explained: “None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”