DAVOS, Switzerland: Billionaire George Soros on Thursday (Friday in Manila) delivered a scathing assessment of Donald Trump, calling the US President-elect a “would-be-dictator” who is “going to fail.”
On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, Soros said Trump was “gearing up for a trade war” that would have “a very far reaching effect in Europe and other parts of the world.”
The “would-be-dictator… didn’t expect to win, he was surprised,” the Hungarian-born financier told an audience of business leaders and journalists at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum was being held.
“I personally have confidence that he’s going to fail…because his ideas, that guide him are inherently self-contradictory,” said Soros, adding that members of Trump’s cabinet are each fighting for different interests.
But he predicted the loss of the US’ “positive influence in the world in favor of an open society,” which would have “a very far reaching effect in Europe and other parts of the world.”
Soros, who was a supporter of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during last year’s campaign, lost nearly a billion dollars as a consequence of the rally prompted by Trump’s surprise election victory, according to press reports.
But the positive reaction in financial markets would not last long, Soros predicted, because ultimately they do not like uncertainty.
US stocks retreated and the dollar fell against most currencies Thursday in the final session before Trump’s inauguration on Friday.
In Manila, protesters converged in front of the US embassy Friday to denounce Trump ahead of his inauguration, accusing him of sexism, racism and xenophobia.
Chanting “Dump Trump,” the protesters from leftist groups also expressed concerns that Trump was a threat to the millions of Filipino immigrants living in the United States.
“It is alarming to know that an accused sexual predator, a known racist, sexist, xenophobic man is assuming the presidency of the strongest capitalist country in the world,” Joms Salvador, secretary general of women’s group Gabriela, told AFP.
“The decades of struggle of women across the world to fight for their rights is threatened by Trump’s presidency.”
The roughly 300 people who gathered near the US embassy in Manila held placards with the message “@realDonaldTrump hands off Filipino immigrants” and “Trump you’re trash.” They symbolically dumped photos of Trump in the trash bin.
In Hong Kong, a man chained himself to the gate of the US consulate in protest over Trump’s inauguration.
Refusing to give his name or nationality but identifying himself as “Snufkin,” the bearded man in his late 30s said Trump “represents everything bad in the world.”
Incoming first daughter Ivanka Trump appealed to critics to give her father a chance.
“My father is an incredible unifier. For every critic, I would say give him time. Let him come into office. Let him prove you wrong,” the 35-year-old told ABC News as she prepared to move to Washington.
The businesswoman and mother of three however admitted to urging her father to cut out some of his more controversial tweets.
Trump vows unity
In brief remarks on the eve of becoming president, Trump vowed to bring unity, but there was also a rallying cry for his base.
“We’re going to unify our country,” he said, before telling supporters: “You’re not forgotten anymore.”
“We’re going to get our jobs back. We’re not going to let other countries take our jobs any longer. We’re going to build up our great military.”