Robert Mercer, a possible billionaire and definite major force behind the election of Donald Trump, told ex-employee David Magerman that black Americans are the “only racist people remaining in the U.S.,” according to a lawsuit that Magerman filed against Mercer for wrongful termination earlier this week. The existence of the case was first reported by Bloomberg this morning.
Mercer, a libertarian and extremely successful hedge fund manager, has become one of the most powerful men in the world. He co-owns Breitbart, donated at least $22 million to Republican candidates last year, connected the Trump campaign with data firm Cambridge Analytica, and is at least partially responsible, with his daughter Rebekah, for installing Trump administration henchpeople Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, and Steve Bannon. (The essential piece of reading on the Mercers is by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker.) Mercer’s politics are less Trumpist than opportunistic; he initially backed Ted Cruz against Trump.
Magerman and Mercer have publicly been at war since the beginning of the Trump administration. In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mercer called Magerman to complain that “I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist. That’s ridiculous.” Magerman was suspended from Mercer’s company Renaissance the next day, and fired last month.
Mercer may have been basically right about that. According to Mayer’s New Yorker investigation, which cited a “onetime Renaissance employee” who sure sounds like Magerman:
Mercer strongly supported the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Trump’s Attorney General. Many civil-rights groups opposed the nomination, pointing out that Sessions has in the past expressed racist views. Mercer, for his part, has argued that the Civil Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mistake. According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement. (Few scholars agree.) He has also said that the problem of racism in America is exaggerated. The source said that, not long ago, he heard Mercer proclaim that there are no white racists in America today, only black racists. (Mercer, meanwhile, has supported a super pac, Black Americans for a Better Future, whose goal is to “get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party.”)
So what’s news here is not that Mercer holds incredibly racist views; the guy co-owns Breitbart! It’s that Magerman is shifting from an anonymous source to a very public complainant in a lawsuit. And that lawsuit is explicit about Mercer’s racism:
One thing the suit does not mention is that in addition to being a barely concealed racist, Mercer also has contempt for the poor. As Magerman told Mayer:
“Bob believes that human beings have no inherent value other than how much money they make. A cat has value, he’s said, because it provides pleasure to humans. But if someone is on welfare they have negative value. If he earns a thousand times more than a schoolteacher, then he’s a thousand times more valuable...He thinks society is upside down—that government helps the weak people get strong, and makes the strong people weak by taking their money away, through taxes.”
That is a nearly perfect encapsulation of why Donald Trump is a Republican.
Ironically, Magerman’s millions might be what makes this attack on Mercer stick. He’s only suing Mercer for $150,000; the outrageous sums he earned over decades at Renaissance give him the deep pockets to withstand whatever legal counter-assault Mercer has planned, and little incentive to settle. The entire point of this suit seems to be to get a judge to publicly agree that Robert Mercer is a racist.
You can read the entire complaint filed by Magerman below.