In an interview with the Daily Beast, a Russian oligarch who is hiding out in Vienna to avoid charges stemming from an investigation begun under President Barack Obama joked that Donald Trump has the education of third grader before mocking him as a failed businessman.
According to Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian-born businessman with connections to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, no one in the Ukraine thought Trump had a chance to win the 2016 election — but they flocked to attend his inauguration in order to make connections with the incoming administration.
“It was like a parade of such crazies who, for money, wanted to go… I don’t know what they expected there in America, what they went there for,” he told Betsy Woodruff of the Beast. “I’m really ashamed of Ukrainians. They went there like crazy people. They paid money for it. What they did there, I don’t understand. It’s not because they love Trump or think he’s a great politician. They don’t give a damn.”
Firtash, whose wealth comes from controlling much of Ukraine’s’ natural gas distribution, said he himself finds Trump inconsequential.
“Do I need Trump? Hell no,” Firtash explained before launching into a sarcastic tirade about the U.S. president.
“I, of course, understand that he’s a world philosopher and he’ll give such an epic speech that you need to record it and remember it forever,” he joked. “Unfortunately he only made it to the third grade, he can’t even talk. He has no education.”
The oligarch then turned to Trump’s reputation as a smart deal maker.
“Trump is a businessman, a person who went bankrupt four times,” he remarked. “That’s not easy; he was worming his way out of trouble all the time. In that sense, he’s pretty crafty, capable enough of making decisions and getting things done. But I can’t say that he’s too smart. That I cannot say.”
You can read more of the extraordinary interview here.