icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
25 Feb, 2020 03:02

‘Bang-bang-bang’: Bloomberg says he’d DRONE his critics & shield banks if elected president in leaked audio

‘Bang-bang-bang’: Bloomberg says he’d DRONE his critics & shield banks if elected president in leaked audio

Billionaire Democratic hopeful Michael Bloomberg vowed to “defend the banks” and jokingly suggested that he may hunt down his political rivals with Predator drones if elected, a leaked 2016 audio clip has revealed.

The Bloomberg campaign has confirmed the authenticity of the recording, which captured a speech he gave at a closed-door Goldman Sachs event at Yankee Stadium in June 2016. The clip was posted online by a self-styled disgruntled former Goldman executive several days ago and has since made the rounds. 

Bloomberg’s opening remarks can only help to fuel concerns within the progressive wing of his own Democratic party that the billionaire is indeed in bed with big banks.

Asked why he did not run in 2016, Bloomberg responded: “Well, to start, my first campaign platform would be to defend the banks, and you know how well that’s gonna sell in this country.”

While his campaign brushed off the remark as a joke, custom-tailored to the audience of corporate executives, Bloomberg seemed to be quite serious about his support for the banking industry at the time, arguing further that a strong banking system would boost job growth.

“But seriously… somebody’s gotta stand up and do what we need. A healthy banking system that’s going to take risks because that’s what creates the jobs for everybody.”

“And nobody’s willing to say that. The trouble is, these campaigns in this day and age, really are about slogans and not about issues anymore,” he went on, lamenting that voters cast ballots based on the candidate they “hate the least.”

In another excerpt from the nearly hour-long speech – uploaded last week by the user ‘cancelgoldman’ to SoundCloud, an audio-sharing platform – Bloomberg quipped that one of the benefits of being president is that a commander-in-chief can do away with inconvenient critics… by taking them out with killer drones.

"It would have been a great job. No, I mean, you think about it, you have Predators, and the Predators have missiles, and I have a list of everybody that's annoyed me or screwed me for the last 74 years, and bang-bang-bang-bang."

The US has repeatedly drawn criticism for indiscriminate drone strikes in the Middle East, with a 2018 report finding that a third of those killed in the US drone war against Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise were civilians, including children.

Also on rt.com Life in fear: Report says 1 in 3 US drone-strike deaths in Yemen are civilians, including children

The US military’s armed drone program has faced similar charges over operations in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, where non-combatants have been killed in numerous unmanned strikes.

While a spokesman for the Bloomberg campaign admitted to CNN that the joke might seem tone deaf now, he argued it was OK at the time: “Back in 2016, when someone cracked wise about a president using military hardware to settle grudges, an audience would laugh.”

Also on rt.com ‘Some people have too much money’: Bloomberg trolled for Trump eats 'burnt steak' and ‘cheats at golf’ billboards

Bloomberg has spent over $500 million out of his own pocket to promote his presidential bid, but so far his campaign is struggling to gain momentum, having skipped over three early primary contests altogether. In one of his latest eyebrow-raising bids to win popular support, Bloomberg inundated Nevada with bizarre billboards bashing US President Donald Trump – some of them accusing POTUS of “cheating at golf” and enjoying “burnt steak.” The attacks failed to strike a chord with voters, however, who took to social media to ridicule the strange campaign ads.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!