Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary lays into Trump for ‘tainting the US brand’

Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary complained that Donald Trump’s New Yorkhush money trial is "tainting" the US' brand around the world as jurors began to deliberate a verdict.

"We’re tainting our brand, a 200-year brand," O'Leary said on Fox Business’sVarney & Co on Wednesday.

He then complained that the US's reputation has "sunk right into the toilet."

However, his issue wasn't that Mr Trump allegedly paid an adult film star to keep quiet about an affair, but rather that the former president was being tried as a result.

"I think there's many people that feel the way I do that don't think this case should have been brought on its merits at all, because it wasn't worthy of tainting the American brand, because that's what it did, and that's what it's doing," he said.

‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary complains that Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial is ‘tainting’ the US’s ‘brand’ on Fox Business (screengrab/Fox Business)
‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary complains that Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial is ‘tainting’ the US’s ‘brand’ on Fox Business (screengrab/Fox Business)

In his estimation, the trial is "hurting everybody that is involved in the economy in America.'

Mr Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Prosecutors are arguing that Mr Trump falsified records to hide a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. They allege that the money was intended to keep her quiet about an alleged affair Mr Trump had with the actress in 2006.

Mr Trump has maintained the affair did not occur.

"We took someone out of the executive office. We had a porn star talking about sex with condoms in court to an executive of an ex-president of the United States. That's what happens in Venezuela," O'Leary said.

Despite suggesting Mr Trump should not have faced prosecution, O'Leary later said that "we should raise the bar on former executives at the White House," regardless of their party affiliation.

"I’m flying 90,000 feet above that, saying four years from now, both of these guys are gone. And what did we do to our brand? That’s what I’m thinking about," he said.

O'Leary may be a little late if he's worried about America's reputation abroad. Pew Research recently found the US' favorability in the rest of the world has been largely on the downtrend since 2000, but took a significant hit in many nations when Mr Trump was elected president.

Just a day before he indirectly defended Mr Trump, O'Leary — who is best known for his role on a show where small-business owners grovel at his feet for his money — blasted Joe Biden for his student loan relief program, calling it "un-American" and "unfair."

“There's no way this isn't inflationary,” he told Fox News. “This is free money from a helicopter when we're trying to tame inflation. This just makes it worse.”