- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Top Republican donor and fundraiser Meg Whitman endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday, saying she cannot support a candidate who has “exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division.”

The Hewlett-Packard executive said in a statement that Republican nominee Donald Trump’s “demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.”

“Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues - from immigration to our economy to foreign policy - have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as president,” Whitman said in a statement released Tuesday night. “Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.”

She said national security would be in danger under a Trump presidency and she encouraged all Republicans to support Clinton in November.

The former eBay CEO ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010, spending $144 million of her own money in a $178 million loss against Democrat Jerry Brown. During the campaign, she called for tougher sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers, but her campaign suffered after it was revealed that she employed an illegal immigrant maid from Mexico for nine years.

Whitman was the national finance co-chair of Republican New Jersey candidate Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign before he dropped out and endorsed Trump. At the time, she called Christie’s move “an astonishing display of political opportunism.”

In June, Whitman had compared Trump at a closed-door summit to Mussolini and Hitler and warned Republicans that compromising on some conservative principles to support Trump now might lead to bigger compromises in future years.

Whitman was a loyal supporter of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and has remained loyal to him. Romney also has declined to endorse Trump, though he has not gone so far as to endorse Clinton.

Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson and Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

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