Real estate magnate Stephen Schwarzman shocked a group of fellow business leaders when he spoke out in defense of President Trump’s claims of voter fraud in an attempt to reverse his defeat in the election. The Blackstone founder’s comments came during a zoom conference call with about 30 of his fellow business leaders.
According to Financial Times, the call was held on November 6 and organized in response to the President’s attempts to contest his defeat in the election. Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson and Walmart were among the companies represented in what was described as an emergency meeting.
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There has been a lot of talk about what would happen should President Trump fight to stay in office even if his defeat is confirmed by the Electoral College. Others speculate that he is still trying to get Republican controlled states which voted for Joe Biden to reject Biden’s electoral slates in favor of his own. Many describe any such action as a coup.
Business leaders, regardless of who they personally supported in the election, are concerned that Mr. Trump’s actions will cause economic instability. Even should the President yield before January 20, his efforts may cause irreparable damage to the perception that America is a truly free and democratic country. A loss of faith in America’s political institutions would be equal to the people losing faith in its economic institutions.
While his specific words were not recounted, according to Financial Times Stephen Schwarzman was said to have been bothered by the overall tone of his colleagues and said that that President Trump was within his rights to go to court.
Stephen Schwarzman is said to have donated $3 million to America First Action, a super-PAC which supported resident Trump’s reelection campaign. In total he donated $30 million to Republican campaigns.
Asked about Mr. Schwarzman’s remarks, Blackstone told the Financial Times: “As an American, Steve believes the electoral system is sound and that the democratic process will play out in an orderly and legal manner, as it has throughout our nation’s history.”
Yale Professor of management Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who organized the meeting, said, “There was great concern about the president’s words and the national reaction that it was leading to more cleavage in the country rather than less. None of them wants a divided nation. They don’t want fractured communities. They don’t want hostile workplaces.”
In other Stephen Schwarzman news the real estate developer is taking part in the Bloomberg New Economy Forum being held in New York this week. He is joined by Chris Kempczinski, president and CEO of McDonald’s Corp., Ginni Rometty, the executive Chairman of IBM, and political leaders and thinkers including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, former U.S Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. The event deals with the economy during the Corona Virus pandemic.