The wealthiest supporter of the GOP in Ohio said Thursday that he is no longer a member of the Republican Party.
“I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,” L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner said during a panel discussion at a leadership summit, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Wexner, who said he’s been a Republican since college, added that he is now an independent, before saying that he “won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party” anymore.
“I haven’t run an ad in the newspaper that said, ‘I quit,'” he said.
The Columbus Dispatch noted that Wexner said he’s instead been writing notes to friends who are lawmakers and telling them that he’s no longer a member of the GOP.
The development came just a day after former President Obama slammed GOP lawmakers during a rally in Ohio for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayObama blasts GOP: They ‘put up with crazy’ On The Money: Lawmakers get deal to avoid shutdown | House panel approves ‘tax cuts 2.0’ bill | Jobless claims hold steady near 49-year low Pence: ‘Very disappointing’ to see Obama ‘become so political’ MORE .
“What you’re seeing is Republicans in Congress who are bending over backwards to try to shield and deflect oversight of this behavior and accountability and consequences,” Obama said.
“This is serious. You know it is. And frankly even some of the Republicans know it is. They will say it, they just don’t do anything about it. … [They say,] ‘we’ll put up with crazy’ in exchange for tax reform and deregulation.”
Wexner called Obama’s visit to Ohio this week a “great moment for the community,” according to the Dispatch.
“I was struck by the genuineness of the man; his candor, humility and empathy for others,” Wexner said.
The newspaper noted that the comments stand in stark contrast to what the GOP supporter has said about President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Carolina detention centers say it will not relocate inmates in mandatory evacuation zones Letitia James routs three Dems to win New York AG primary Trump slams Kerry for ‘illegal’ meetings with Iran MORE .
The billionaire CEO reportedly said in a speech last year that he was “ashamed” by Trump’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that erupted in violence and led to the death of a 32-year-old woman.
The Ohio businessman has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and groups over the years, including giving $250,000 to a super PAC backing Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOutdated global postal system hurts US manufacturers This week: Senate set to pass sweeping opioid package Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE ‘s (R) reelection campaign in 2016 and nearly $70,000 to GOP committees and candidates in Ohio and other states, the Dispatch noted.
Wexner isn’t the only person to renounce their GOP affiliation this year. In August, Michael London, a former member of the Trumbull Town Council in Connecticut, announced he was leaving the party because it was “no longer the party that I believed in all these years.”