SAN FRANCISCO — The thought of Donald Trump leading America scares Reid Hoffman.
The LinkedIn co-founder spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on Tuesday, just one day after he published a viral post on Medium that offered up to $5 million to veterans if Trump releases his tax returns by the final presidential debate on Oct. 19.
Asked why he decided to support the Crowdpac campaign started by a veteran that will send money raised to non-profits if Trump releases the returns, Hoffman on Tuesday said that those involved in a democracy should understand candidates running for high-elected office. Offering up a donation was a good way to send that message, he said.
“If Donald Trump is as concerned about making America great as he claims, he should care a lot about veterans,” Hoffman said. “[This] is a very good incentive for him to do the right thing.”
Asked if he was scared about a potential Trump presidency, Hoffman said “at the moment I’m in denial.” He cited Hillary Clinton’s years of political experience compared to Trump.
“That, in return for essentially a candidate who has demonstrated no public service that I’m aware of, and who clearly hasn’t dedicated a life about being more than about himself, is terrifying for what it means for U.S. foreign relations and what it actually means for good governance,” he explained.
Added Hoffman, who agreed to sell LinkedIn to Microsoft for $26 billion in June: “When I get out of denial, I think waking up in terror would actually in fact be an accurate statement.”
Josh Elman, Hoffman’s longtime LinkedIn colleague and venture capital partner at Greylock Partners, was also on stage and spoke briefly about the election.
“We look for such a steady hand to run every company we are apart of, so to think about someone sitting in the presidency driving our entire nation and our policies and our relationships who seems to change their mind or have double-speak on almost everything they do just couldn’t be more frightening,” Elman said.