Republican businessman Ken Langone on Wednesday blew up the Capitol Hill riot last week and charged CNBC with feeling "betrayed" by the actions of President Donald Trump that led to the deadly events.
"I think the biggest mistake anyone will make is trying to rationalize what happened last week, what the president did and what that crowd did," Langone told Squawk Box. "There shouldn't be any mitigation at all. It was horrible. It was wrong. I'm shocked."
Trump's supporters overtook the U.S. Capitol exactly a week ago to prevent Congress from completing President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the electoral college. Trump's incendiary rhetoric and repeated lies about widespread fraud in the November elections helped anger his supporters, and during a speech in Washington, the president encouraged supporters gathered in the city to march to the Capitol.
"I feel betrayed," said Langone, who has been very supportive of Trump's economic policies over the years and at times also criticized the president, for example for his reaction to the deadly rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
"Last Wednesday was a shame," added Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, who has donated to Republicans over the years. "It should never have happened in this country. If it doesn't break the heart of every American, something is wrong. It sure breaks my heart. I didn't sign up for it."
Langone, who is the chairman of the board of directors of NYU Langone Medical Center, called on Americans to rally behind Biden and give up bias. "If there is a time in history when all Americans must be patriots, this is the time," he said.
"I will do everything I can from day one to make sure I do my part in making Joe Biden the most successful president in this country's history," added Langone. "There is a selfish reason for this, we have very serious major problems to solve in America," such as the coronavirus pandemic and public awareness.
Langone's comments come as the House of Representatives prepares to indict Trump again, this time for the second time for his role in inciting the Capitol uprising. The democratically led effort was supported by a number of GOP members, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. She is the third-placed Republican in the house.
"I don't care," Langone said, if Trump is charged. "I only care about one thing: Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20th."
Langone was specifically asked about Republican Congressmen who voted against Biden's victory, even after the deadly uprising. "I honestly don't know what the hell they were up to. … What kind of grandstand game was that?" ""
"There will be a lot of time and I am sure there will be a lot of energy going into what they have to do, whether it is Trump, these senators or whatever," added Langone. "At the end of the day, thank God, we are a democracy and the voters will have the last word."