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Billionaire Tom Steyer defends his Trump impeachment push after some Democrats criticize it

  • Tom Steyer defends his multimillion-dollar campaign to impeach President Donald Trump.
  • Some Democrats have called it counterproductive to the party winning a House majority.
  • Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, is a major donor to liberal causes and Democratic candidates.

Some Democrats believe Tom Steyer's multimillion-dollar push for President Donald Trump's impeachment is counterproductive.

On Monday, Steyer, a billionaire, argued that those Democrats are out of touch with average Americans.

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, has launched two ad campaigns calling for Trump's impeachment, spending a reported total of about $20 million. His Need to Impeach campaign, which got plastered on televisions and even on a billboard in Times Square, has garnered more than 3 million signatures online.

In October, Trump tweeted that Steyer is "wacky & totally unhinged" and has fought the president's agenda from the "beginning."

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., has said "the impeachment message right now is not helpful" for Democrats' efforts to win a House majority, according to The Wall Street Journal. David Axelrod, who was an advisor to President Barack Obama, has called Steyer's campaign a "vanity project" and "unhelpful."

Steyer on Monday contended their comments showed a disconnect with people outside of Washington.

"You know, that's amazing because it's overwhelmingly supported by Democrats. So the fact of the matter is, what you see is a bunch of people from inside Washington, D.C., who find this threatening," the major Democratic donor told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

"So I think that's the distinction you have to understand is: there are the people inside the Beltway and then there are the human beings who are American citizens and the distinction is very clear," he added.

Steyer also vehemently criticized the tax bill passed by the Senate early Saturday morning, arguing it is part of an effort to "redo" the U.S. government and make it "less fair" for Americans.

Republicans argue that the bill will boost economic growth and subsequently job creation and wages, but congressional scorekeepers have said the growth effects will only be modest.

Steyer, 60, founded and managed the hedge fund Farallon Capital before retiring in 2012. He then launched NextGen America, a political organization that supports liberal positions on climate change, immigration and health care, among other issues.

He has funneled millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and causes.

Trump's impeachment appears highly unlikely because his Republican Party controls both chambers of Congress. Even Democratic congressional leaders have shown no interest in impeaching Trump yet.