Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman was accused of being a neo-Nazi after President Donald Trump failed to unequivocally condemn white supremacists post-Charlottesville.
“You should’ve seen some of the mail I got,” Schwarzman said. “I was accused by people of being a Nazi. I mean I’m Jewish. I got hundreds of these things.”
Speaking for the first time since President Donald Trump’s two business councils dissolved, Schwarzman, who headed one of those groups, said he and his fellow CEOs were under enormous pressure from their shareholders to cut their ties to Trump during a Tuesday CNBC and Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference.
That was after the commander-in-chief said “both sides” were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville that culminated when a counter-protester at a white supremacist rally was fatally mowed down by a car in mid-August. While only a few CEOs from Trump’s Manufacturing Council and Strategy and Policy Forum resigned from the advisory bodies at first, more CEOs continued toward the exit, and the two groups eventually crumbled just days later after Trump reasserted that he meant what he said.
Despite disagreeing with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, however, most CEOs on those two advisory boards decided to stay. They argued that a position on the council allowed them to help shape the President’s views. So, what changed between then and August?
While part of the reason CEOs resigned was purely in protest over what appeared to be Trump’s sympathy toward neo-Nazis, CEOs of those groups were also facing intense criticism from their shareholders, Schwarzman said…
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