On Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, a group of Bitcoiners met earlier this year. Some of the attendees joked to Forbe’s journalist Laura Shin that her attendance made her ‘Bitcoin Illuminati.’
By that logic, the ‘Bitcoin Illuminati‘ leader, Sir Branson, casts his ballot for Ms. Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.
The Bitcoin enthusiast has taken to his Virgin.com internet property twice in the past couple weeks to discuss his concern over the 2016 US presidential election; namely, his fear of a Donald Trump presidency.
Branson took to his company’s website Friday to recounted a meeting between he and Mr. Trump, and then contrasted it with a similar meeting between Ms. Clinton and himself.
“Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan,” Branson recalls. “We had not met before and I accepted. 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. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.” Branson didn’t feel totally comfortable at the meeting.
“He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre,” Branson said. “I told him I didn’t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them. There must be more constructive ways to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn’t lead to him running for President!)” Branson thought for a second that the would-be Republican presidential candidate was going to ask him for some financial aid.
“If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!” Branson exclaims. Branson felt “disturbed and saddened”.
He then adds: “There are a lot of frightening things about this election; not least that policy has been pushed so far down the agenda,” Branson said. “What concerns me most, based upon my personal experiences 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 so wrapped up in himself, rather than concerned with global issues, is very worrying.”
Not long before the post appeared about the first meeting, Branson wrote another about how one day he’d like for an entrepreneur to become president, just not Trump.
“I would like to see an entrepreneur become President one day,” he wrote on his company’s blog. “I believe entrepreneurial thinking is incredibly valuable in leaders, and there are many entrepreneurs who I would be delighted to see in power – just not this one.” The British-Branson explains why he is an interesting position to comment on US politics.
“The US is faced with a monumental decision: whether to vote for Hillary Clinton – a safe pair of hands and a leader of supreme experience and know-how,” he said. “Or to vote for Donald Trump. Quite a few of my American friends, especially some very successful entrepreneurs, are registered Republicans. They have told me they are unable to vote for Donald Trump due to his extreme views, and his shocking ignorance of policy.” Branson recalls how he told Trump the way in which they are two different types of entrepreneurs.
“As I told Mr Trump when we met many years ago (more on that soon), we fundamentally disagree on what makes a great entrepreneur,” he said. “I believe this involves being a good listener, putting others before oneself, being an effective delegator and striving to make a positive difference to the world. Great entrepreneurs build businesses with purpose at their heart and always treat people with respect. These are not characteristics I see in Mr Trump – neither in his previous business dealings, nor in this campaign.”
Branson has appeared regularly in the media as a proponent of Bitcoin. In 2014, Branson declared he thought “Bitcoin is working.” He’s hosted meetings on his island about Bitcoin and publicly says he believes blockchain could usher in an “economic revolution.”
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