By Matt Belvedere:
- Americans are flocking to President Trump because they hate seeing people bullied, says conservative philanthropist Foster Friess.
- The uproar over Trump’s response to the deadly violence is “politically inspired” by critics, he says.
President Donald Trump was correct to point to “bad people” among the protesters demonstrating against the white nationalists in Virginia, said Foster Friess, founder of the boutique investment group Friess Associates.
“I love Donald Trump,” he told CNBC on Friday. “He’s become a victim. And he’s being bullied. And that’s why Americans are flocking to him, because they hate [seeing] people … bullied.”
Those “flocking” to Trump were sharply divided along political lines, according to a new NPR/PBS “NewsHour”/Marist poll. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans expressed support for Trump’s statements, while only 10 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of self-identified independents felt the same, the poll showed.
About the weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, Friess said: “There were some bad people in the protesters against the Nazi guys.”
While strongly denouncing the white nationalists, Friess said it’s possible that “good people” with no white supremacist beliefs were also there to protest the removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A GOP megadonor and philanthropist, Friess told “Squawk Box” he believes the uproar over Trump’s response to the deadly violence is “politically inspired” by critics of the president.
Commenting about the disbanding of White House CEO advisory groups, Friess said he does not see what the president’s actions in the wake of the weekend mayhem had to do with serving on councils aimed at advancing business-friendly policies.
Friess did acknowledge Trump needs to work on his communications skills.
He also said former President Barack Obama had been great at giving speeches but was ineffective in the White House.