Pro-Israel Billionaire Seth Klarman Slams Trump as a 'Danger to Democracy'

The Boston-based billionaire and philanthropist said 'Nazi Germany had a constitution before Hitler came to power and at the end of the war they had the exact same constitution'

File photo: Seth Klarman speaks in New York on May 26, 2010.
Bloomberg

WASHINGTON - A leading pro-Israel donor in the United States has described U.S. President Donald Trump as a "danger to democracy" and warned that "Nazi Germany had a constitution before Hitler came to power and at the end of the war they had the exact same constitution. It lasted all the way through, but democracy didn’t."

Seth Klarman, a Boston-based billionaire and philanthropist, made the harsh statements during a conference of hedge fund managers last week in Manhattan. His comments were first reported by New York Magazine. Klarman is the owner and main funder of the news website The Times of Israel, and has also donated millions of dollars to "Camera," a right-wing organization that monitors reports about Israel in the international press, and criticizes news outlets it considers unfair to Israel. 

During the 2016 election, Klarman supported Hillary Clinton, even though over the years he has mostly supported Republicans, including during the 2012 election. At the conference last week, Klarman spoke about Trump as a danger to American democracy, and accused him of dividing American society for his own political benefit.

"The president is a threat to democracy. He has attacked journalists and he’s threatening to take away NBC’s license,” Klarman said, according to New York Magazine's reporting. He also said that Trump is "attacking judges and violating all sorts of democratic norms, from the emoluments clause to questioning the election and threatening to lock up his opponent."

The harshest part of Klarman's comments was when he made a historical analogy to Nazi Germany in the 1930's, stating that "people don’t focus on this but Nazi Germany had a constitution before Hitler came to power and at the end of the war they had the exact same constitution. It lasted all the way through, but democracy didn’t."

He also said that "the country is getting divided, whether it’s immigrants, whether it’s transgender people, whether it’s blacks, whether it’s Mexicans. It’s awful."