Richard Branson Describes “Bizarre” Lunch in Which Donald Trump Waxed About Revenge

“What concerns me most…is his vindictive streak.”

Mark Lennihan/AP

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As our own David Corn noted just this week, Donald Trump loves nothing more than seeking cold revenge. It turns out billionaire Richard Branson has a Trump story that illustrates Trump’s obsession with vengeance perfectly.

Branson, the billionaire owner of the Virgin Group, wrote a post on his company’s website on Friday afternoon describing an out-of-the-blue lunch the two men shared “some years ago.” Branson says it was the first time he and Trump had met, but Trump had only one topic he wanted to discuss.

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.

He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. 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!)

I was baffled why he had invited me to lunch solely to tell me this. For a moment, I even wondered if he was going to ask me for financial help. If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!

Branson wrote earlier this month that “Mr Trump’s temperament is irrational [and] aggressive,” and added on Friday that those character defects are perhaps the scariest part of this election. “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,” Branson wrote.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mother Jones.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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