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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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