Republican Billionaire, Wealthiest Donor in Ohio, Quits 'Nonsense' Party of Trump, Praises Obama

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Les Wexner speaks onstage at the 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards presented by Hearst Magazines - Show on June 7, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images

Billionaire retail boss and Republican party donor Les Wexner said he has renounced his membership of the party. 

“I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,” announced L Brands CEO Wexner at a panel discussion during a leadership summit, reported the Columbus Dispatch Friday. 

GettyImages-538732980 Les Wexner speaks onstage at the 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards presented by Hearst Magazines - Show on June 7, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images

He told the summit that he had been a Republican since college, long before taking the helm of the Columbus, Ohio, based company, but was now an independent, announcing that he “won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party” anymore.

“I haven’t run an ad in the newspaper that said, ‘I quit,’” he said, adding that he had been writing to lawmakers informing them that he was no longer a party member. 

Wexner is the CEO of L Brands, a retail conglomerate which includes  brands including Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, The White Barn Candle Company, and La Senza.

The business magnate has a history of donating to Republican candidates in both state and federal elections, but during the 2016 presidential election campaign he criticised both Donald Trump and his rival, Hillary Clinton, comparing them to squabbling Roman emperors. 

“We’ve got this peculiar election,” said Wexner, reported Fortune. “On the one hand, you can choose somebody who’s absolutely nuts or somebody who’s probably very selfish and dishonest.”

In a speech last year he described being “ashamed” of Trump’s refusal to single out white supremacists for criticism after the August white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. 

At Friday’s summit, Wexler praised former president Barack Obama, who only days before had launched a blistering attack on Republican lawmakers in a speech in Ohio, Wexner's home state. 

Wexner called Obama’s visit to Ohio this week a “great moment for the community,” according to the Dispatch.

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