Dubai: Slamming Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim rants, Saudi billionaire and nephew of King Salman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal called the Republican front runner a 'disgrace to America' and went on to advice him to withdraw from the 2016 US presidential race.
"You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America," Prince Alwaleed, the chairman of Kingdom Holding, said on his Twitter account @Alwaleed_Talal, addressing Donald Trump and referring to the Republican Party.
"Withdraw from the US presidential race as you will never win," the prince added.
Within hours, Trump responded by accusing the prince of wanting to use what he called "daddy's money" to control US politicians.
"Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our US politicians with daddy's money," he said. "Can't do it when I get elected."
Interestingly, when Trump’s businesses empire crumbled in the 1990s, the high profile Saudi prince, known for investments from Citigroup to Hyundai, agreed to take majority control of New York’s Plaza hotel, giving Trump “more breathing room with bank creditors". Four years earlier, Alwaleed purchased Trump’s nearly 300-foot yacht for $18 million as his Atlantic City casinos struggled.
Trump triggered an international uproar when he called for a ban on entry of Muslims in the United States in response to last week's deadly shootings in California. Trump's comments have already cost him business in the Middle East, with a major chain of department stores halting sales of his glitzy "Trump Home" line of lamps, mirrors and jewellery boxes.
Prominent UAE-based businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor while ruling out "any chance of working with Trump", said he didn’t trust him anymore. Branding Trump “the biggest enemy of Islam,” Al Habtoor said he was no longer supporting his bid for power.
In an interview with CNN, Al-Habtoor said: “I view him as the biggest enemy of Islam. He is a man supporting Daesh ... he is encouraging them, this is what they want to hear.”