Meg Whitman likens Trump to Hitler, Mussolini

Story highlights

  • Whitman is in Utah for Mitt Romney's annual Experts and Enthusiasts summit
  • Trump has occasionally drawn comparisons to Hitler during his campaign

Washington (CNN)Billionaire and major Republican donor Meg Whitman on Friday compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, two sources in the room told CNN.

The Hewlett-Packard CEO's remarks at Mitt Romney's Utah retreat of top Republican supporters and fund-raisers came as she and news anchor Campbell Brown grilled House Speaker Paul Ryan over his endorsement of Trump. Ryan, unlike several other prominent GOP officials at the retreat, chose to endorse him but has simultaneously sought to distance himself from Trump's rhetoric about minorities.
    The sources said Whitman was referring to Trump's rhetoric within a historical context.
    In response, Trump told CNN he doesn't want Whitman's support, though he didn't respond to her references to Hitler and Mussolini.
    "I never met Meg Whitman, but the job she is doing at Hewlett-Packard is not a very good one," he said in a statement via his spokeswoman, Hope Hicks. "Based on the disastrous campaign she ran in California, and the tens of millions of dollars she wasted, I have learned a lot from her. I do not want her support."
    A spokesman for Whitman didn't respond to CNN's request for comment. A message left with Ryan's office was not immediately returned Saturday morning.
    Romney, who at one point tried to spike Trump's campaign, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday that Trump will change America with "trickle-down racism."
    Whitman, who unsuccessfully ran for California governor in 2010 and served as Romney's finance co-chair for his 2012 presidential campaign, is a major donor to Our Principles PAC, an anti-Trump group. She also has been an outspoken Trump critic: In February, she blasted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who she backed for president before he dropped out of the race, over his endorsement of Trump, calling it an "astonishing display of political opportunism."
    And in March, Whitman told Re/code that she doesn't want Americans to vote for Trump, adding, "When you take a look at the facts about his record, they're pretty remarkable. I don't think Republican voters have grasped this yet."
    Trump has occasionally drawn comparisons to Hitler during his campaign. Anne Frank's stepsister, former Mexican president Vicente Fox and former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican, have invoked the dictator in referring to Trump. Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld likened Trump's immigration policy to Kristallnacht, the 1938 pogrom against European Jewry.