Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, a prominent Republican donor and backer of President Donald Trump, said Wednesday that he felt “betrayed” by the president’s actions in the leadup to last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, which he characterized as a “disgrace,” and he said he would do everything possible to support the Biden administration.
In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Langone said 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.”
The billionaire added that “there should be no mitigation at all,” stating the storming of the Capitol, which resulted in the death of five people, was shockingly “horrible” and “wrong.”
He also urged Americans to unify around President-elect Biden, pledging to “do everything I can from Day One to make sure I do my part to make Joe Biden the most successful president in the history of this country.”
Langone donated to Trump’s campaign in 2016, and his wife Elaine contributed to Trump’s reelection in 2017. According to Forbes analysis of the 2020 Federal Election Commission database, Langone donated $500,000 to the “Take Back The House 2020” political action committee and another $250,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super-PAC supporting Senate Republicans such as Tom Cotton (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY). Langone has long been supportive of the Trump administration’s economic policies. In May 2019, he credited the president for “doing the right thing” by increasing tariffs on China. Last April, Trump appointed Langone to a newly formed American economic revival council. However, Langone was critical of the president for his response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. “He completely mishandled the situation in Charlottesville. There was no gray area here — these people [the white supremacists] were repulsive,” said Langone at the time.
In the week since the deadly occupation of the Capitol building, many major U.S. corporations and banks have announced they are discontinuing or reviewing the political donations made through their PACs to the Republican members of Congress who challenged the certification of Biden’s victory.
“It should never have happened in this country,” said Langone of the attack on the Capitol. “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.”