Sam Harris, the noted American author and public intellectual, caused a stir on social media when he told listeners to his podcast that former President Donald Trump “is a worse person than Osama bin Laden.”

“I’ve said on several occasions that I think Donald Trump is a worse person than Osama bin Laden,” Harris said on a recent episode of his “Making Sense” podcast. A snippet of his comments was posted on Twitter by journalist Tom Elliott.

Harris, an atheist, neuroscientist and philosopher, said he understands why such a statement is “surprising” but insists it wasn’t meant to be “hyperbolic.”

“I can defend every word of a statement like that,” Harris continued.

“What I can’t defend are people’s misunderstandings and erroneous extrapolations of a statement like that.”

Harris said that while he didn't know bin Laden personally, he wouldn't be surprised to learn that he had "courage" and "integrity."
Harris said that while he didn’t know bin Laden personally, he wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he had “courage” and “integrity.”
Sygma via Getty Images

Harris sought to “clarify” his comments by saying bin Laden, the al Qaeda arch-terrorist who masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed close to 3,000 people, was “more or less” a “normal human being, psychologically.”

“He was just living in the grip of a dangerous and idiotic worldview,” Harris said of bin Laden.

Harris said the Saudi terrorist “created immense harm” and that it was “very good that we killed him.”

“But within the framework of his odious beliefs, he demonstrated many virtues,” Harris said of bin Laden.

“He was a man who certainly seemed to be capable of real self-sacrifice,” the podcast host said, calling bin Laden a man who was “committed to ideals beyond his narrow self-interest.”

“[Bin Laden] was by all accounts personally quite courageous,” Harris said.

Harris mused that while he didn’t know bin Laden personally, it “wouldn’t surprise” him at all if he learned that bin Laden was someone of “real integrity and generosity and compassion in his dealings with his fellow Muslims.”

Harris slammed Trump, the 45th president, as a man lacking "self-sacrifice."
Harris slammed Trump, the 45th president, as a man lacking “self-sacrifice.”
Getty Images

“None of these things can be said about Donald Trump,” Harris said. “Trump is, without question, one of the least honest and most malignantly selfish human beings I have ever come across.”

Harris speculated that if Trump “were a better person, he would be worse in many ways.”

A “brave, self-sacrificing, and idealistic” Trump who was “capable of being strongly committed to something beyond his narrow self-interest” would be “capable of creating much greater harm in the world.”

“But he’s not,” Harris said, calling Trump a “child in a man’s body” who “lies as freely as he breathes.”

“Unlike bin Laden, it is patently obvious that Trump isn’t psychologically normal.”

Harris’ clarification was panned online.

“Didn’t think the clarification could get much worse than the original statement, but he made sure it did,” one Twitter user commented.

Harris referred to Trump as a "child in a man's body."
Harris referred to Trump as a “child in a man’s body.”
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“When ‘worse than Hitler’ has been so overused they now resort to ‘well Bin Laden wasn’t so bad compared to Donald Trump’…,” another Twitter user wrote.

“This dude needs to be committed.. but, this is the thought process of the left,” one Twitter user wrote of Harris.

“They can’t let it go.”

Last month, Harris raised eyebrows when he told the “Triggernometry” podcast that he supported Twitter’s decision to ban Trump’s account.





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