Israeli-American mogul Haim Saban: Trump win would be ‘disastrous’ for Israel


Billionaire calls Republican candidate a ‘conman, liar, cheat, and thief,’ says he gave Clinton campaign ‘eight-figure’ donation

Times of Israel

Israeli-American mogul Haim Saban said Friday that a US presidential win by Republican nominee Donald Trump would be “disastrous, disastrous for Israel.”

Speaking to Channel 10 news just minutes before Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Saban said Trump was “not a Republican, he’s not a Democrat, he’s not an independent. Trump is Trump. Trump, as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg defined him, is a conman,” Saban said.

Turning to the camera, Saban said his message to the public in Israel, for those who are not sure which candidate would make a president more likely to hold Israel’s best interest at heart, was this: “Don’t believe a single word this man says. He is a conman, a liar, a cheat, a thief and he’s cynical. Everyone he does is to serve Trump alone.”

The interview, conducted in Hebrew, was aired on the Friday evening news edition.

Asked if Clinton as president would get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saban said that since Netanyahu said he was committed to the two-state solution the two would get along.

“There are those who would say that those who are for two states and dividing Jerusalem are anti-Israel. In that case then, I’m anti-Israel. But the prime minister himself was clear on supporting two states for two peoples. The relations depend on both of them. But I’m very optimistic,” he said

The billionaire rejected the interviewer’s attempt to paint him as a Democratic parallel of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a strong backer of Netanyahu and the owner of the pro-Netanyahu daily Israel Hayom. But he said that Adelson was acting “because this is his faith. In the bottom line Sheldon loves the State of Israel, the Land of Israel. We disagree on the path, but the bottom line is the same bottom line.”

Adelson said in May that he would support Trump for the presidency if the real estate mogul was chosen as the nominee. “Yes. I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican,” Adelson said at a Manhattan event when asked if he would back Trump, according to The New York Times.

As for Clinton, Saban revealed that his donation to the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign exceeded $10 million.

Asked whether it was true that he was Clinton’s biggest donor, he replied: “That’s what the papers write.”

He would not divulge the exact sum but said it had “eight figures.”

Asked whether he was in a position to give Clinton advice on her campaign, Saban said that there was one piece of advice he tells her repeatedly: Don’t shout.

“Don’t shout. You don’t need to shout. Say the same things, but not shouting, let [Republican Presidential candidate Donald] Trump, that conman, that prone liar, shout,” Saban said.

Asked why it was so hard for Clinton to secure the nomination, Saban said Clinton’s “biggest problem is that she’s married to the guy with the most charisma I’ve ever known in my life. He’s a kind of rock star that everyone admires and loves. Even those who disagree with him love him. She’s automatically being compared to him; it’s not fair.”



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