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Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman supports Donald Trump

Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman supports Donald Trump


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Blackstone Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman endorsed Donald Trump as a vote for change, the latest sign that Republican megadonors who criticized the former president are uniting behind him.

The private equity billionaire broke with Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and supported Trump critic Chris Christie in the Republican primary. He donated $2 million to Tell It Like It Is, a super Pac supporting the former New Jersey governor, and gave a smaller sum to Republican Sen. Tim Scott.

But in a statement, Schwarzman cited the dramatic rise in anti-Semitism as one reason for his return to Trump's camp, adding that he believed President Joe Biden's policies were wrong.

“I share the concern of most Americans that our economic, immigration and foreign policies are leading the country in the wrong direction,” Schwarzman said in a statement Friday. For these reasons, I intend to vote for change and support Donald Trump for president.

Schwarzman's announcement could presage the start of an additional flow of money from Wall Street to the ex-president, who has tapped billionaires in finance, technology and energy for injections of money. liquidity as he lags behind Biden in the fundraising race.

Trump swept through Texas on Wednesday to raise money from oil tycoons unhappy with Biden's environmental and climate agenda. Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm and Occidental Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub were among the energy tycoons who welcomed Trump to the southern state.

Last month, hedge fund billionaire John Paulson hosted a fundraiser for Trump in Florida that the campaign said brought in more than $50 million.

With Schwarzman on board, more big names in finance could begin to lend their own support. Questions are being asked about what Republican Wall Street megadonors such as Ken Griffin and Paul Singer will do after former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who ran against Trump in the primary, recently announced her support for Trump. Both donated millions to his presidential candidacy.

Schwarzman was once a Trump ally, donating millions to support his re-election in 2020 and defending his actions to fellow CEOs immediately after his loss to Biden that year.

In 2017, the Blackstone chief chaired an advisory council to then-President Trump and traveled with him to Saudi Arabia. Riyadh then pledged up to $20 billion in contributions from other investors to a Blackstone infrastructure fund.

The advisory committee was disbanded shortly after Trump proclaimed that both sides were blamed for a white nationalist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In November 2020, Schwarzman defended the president's right to challenge election results in court. But after a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, he condemned the horrific insurrection that followed the president's remarks.

Following the Republicans' disappointing 2022 midterm elections, the Republican megadonor said he would not support Trump and would seek a new generation of leaders.

On Friday, Schwarzman said he would also support Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and down-ballot elections. His decision to support Trump was first reported by Axios.

Additional reporting by Antoine Gara in New York




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