Martin Selig, the Seattle billionaire real estate developer who last week emerged as a major fundraiser for Donald Trump, has disavowed his support for the Republican nominee.
Selig told the Seattle Times yesterday that he had been “blinded” as a loyal Republican into supporting Trump. He added that he was surprised by the blowback he got when he emerged as a Trump supporter.
“Do you know what it’s like being a Jewish Republican in Seattle?” Selig told the Times.
Selig’s family fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and landed in Seattle, where they started a series of successful businesses. Speaking to Seattle Weekly last week, Selig argued that Trump would support a smaller government, which would help the economy. He also criticized Hillary Clinton for what he saw as “unforgivable” dishonesty about the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Yet it was clear that he and Trump didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye. For example, Selig emphasized the importance of trade to Seattle’s economy; Trump is notably protectionist. Selig’s own biography—which found the United States providing his family refuge from terror abroad—seemed to grate against Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric. At one point in our interview, he noted that “this country kept us alive, allowed us in.”
“But it gives you no pause to hear Trump talk of keeping people out?” we replied.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I’m quite sure there’s a lot more depth to it. That what he means is keeping people out who’d do harm to us.”
Apparently he’s thought a little more about it. He tells the Times he will be writing in a candidate for president.