Political News

Democratic megadonor Steyer mulls run for office amid 'complete crisis'

Posted August 12

Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and Democratic mega-donor, says he is considering a run for political office -- and that he sees the United States in a "complete crisis, honestly," under President Donald Trump.

Steyer, who has pumped more than $160 million into Democratic politics through his NextGen America group in the last two election cycles, didn't rule out a run for California governor in 2018 or for the presidency in 2020.

He also acknowledged that his focus -- and that of his organization, which recently rebranded itself to broaden the set of issues it is tackling -- is on national politics.

"I would say it is hard for me not to think about that fight," Steyer said in an interview with CNN reporters at Netroots Nation, a progressive summit being held in Atlanta. He called Trump's presidency a "historic moment" and said America's political divide "is not shrinking, it's growing."

Asked about his thought process as he weighs a run for office, Steyer said: "The way that I think about it is, how can I make the biggest difference?"

"It's not a question of, what is the biggest thing I can do? It's, how can I make the biggest difference from what would otherwise happen?" he said. "And I honestly haven't figured it out, but I think we've spent a lot of time on it, and I think I still have some time to make up my mind."

Steyer added that "my basic, going-in thesis is, we're in a constitutional crisis. I've said I thought this guy (Trump) should be impeached. I believe he has met the standard for impeachment already. I think that, looking at what's going on, the need for him to be impeached goes up every day."

The White House did not immediately return CNN's request for comment Saturday.

Steyer also said he doesn't believe the country can withstand for a "long time" what he sees as an "unbelievably dangerous and stupid" effort on the part of the Trump administration to steer the nation away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels like coal.

"So I view this as an absolutely abnormal time in America and in American politics. ... We're in a complete crisis, honestly," Steyer said.

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