Lai says he’s “deeply saddened” by the death of former GOP Rep. Ryan Zinox.
In an interview with Recode, the longtime GOP donor said he is “deep down” upset with Zinke and the former congressman’s comments about the 2016 election, which he says were racist.
He called Zinke’s remarks “deepening” and “heartbreaking” and said he would like to “speak with Ryan’s family” and ask for their forgiveness.
He said he’s concerned that “people who are racist and xenophobic” are “using [Zinke’s] death as a distraction to undermine [his] credibility.”
Zinox has defended his comments and the 2016 race, saying they were made in the heat of the moment.
He’s also called on Democrats to rally behind him.
The party, he said, is in danger of “taking the torch” from him.
“If you’re not going to unite with me in a serious way and actually defend the party, then I don’t see how you can possibly win,” Zinox said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last month.