Khalaf Al Habtoor, a billionaire from the United Arab Emirates who backed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, told NBC News Tuesday that he regrets supporting the real estate mogul after he proposed a ban on Muslim immigration.
Al Habtoor, who chairs the Al Habtoor Group conglomerate, expressed his support for Trump in an August op-ed for The National, an English-language newspaper published in the UAE. In it, he wrote that he thought “Mr. Trump is a man who wants America to be great again.”
“He believes in bringing back his country’s superpower status, has guts, determination and, most of all, is a true patriot,” Al Habtoor wrote.
But the Dubai businessman walked those comments back Tuesday after Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S.
“When he was talking about Muslims, attacking them … I had to admit I made a mistake in my supporting Mr. Trump,” he told NBC News. “He is creating a hatred between Muslims and the United States of America.”