Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz on Thursday apologized for supporting the failed re-election efforts of President Donald Trump, telling CNBC he believed the Capitol Hill uprising had permanently tarnished Trump's legacy.
"What happened yesterday is a shame. As an American, I'm ashamed," said the CEO of Trian Partners to "Closing Bell". "I didn't vote '16 for Trump. I voted for him in the last election in November. Today I'm sorry I did that."
Peltz, a well-known activist investor, donated to Trump's campaign in 2016, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. Early last year he hosted a fundraiser for the president.
Peltz said his support for Trump was based on the president's economic policies, particularly on trade and US-China relations. However, Peltz said what he considered to be the positive aspects of Trump's agenda had been undermined not only by the violent uprising on Wednesday that Trump sparked, but also by Trump's overall efforts to discredit President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.
"All the best was gone, was thrown away over the last month and was finished yesterday," said Peltz.
"Trump could have taken a different path. He could have accepted the results. He could have offered his friendship, support and help for a transition to Biden. Had he done that, his legacy would be 180 degrees different from what it is." today, "Peltz added." I mean, we had people shooting at each other in Congress. I mean it's amazing. And how could you say that this is anything but his legacy? "
Four people died in the riots in Washington on Wednesday, including a woman who was shot dead by police, according to authorities. More than 50 police officers were also injured.
Supporters of Trump had gathered in Washington to protest against the confirmation of the electoral college by Congress. This was the final constitutionally required step to cement Biden's victory over Trump. In a speech on Wednesday morning, Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol to protest the confirmation. The president has refused to allow the race to Biden, falsely claiming that his Democratic opponent won only because of widespread electoral fraud.
The backlash to the Capitol Hill uprising was swift and widespread, with numerous Trump allies in both government and American corporations distancing themselves from the president. Transport Secretary Elaine Chao resigned, the first cabinet member to do so after Wednesday's violence.
Peltz hopes the pro-Trump mob taking over the Capitol is a "real turning point" for the country.
"I hope we can learn from yesterday," said Peltz, calling on politicians to be more bipartisan. "We have to get out of this pandemic. We have to address some pressing issues, climate change, etc. Our leaders have to get to work. They have to work together, and we have to create a distant memory yesterday."