Blackstone’s Schwarzman Joins Trump Campaign

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Stephen Schwarzman, prominent in the Republican donor community, has endorsed Donald Trump.

On Friday, Schwarzman disclosed his intention to support Trump’s campaign and various Republican Senate races in an exclusive statement to Axios.

Schwarzman, a billionaire known for his moderate Republican outlook, was a supporter of Trump during his presidency and occasionally served as an informal advisor on trade and economic issues. Prior to this year’s GOP primaries, he called for a “new generation of leaders” and refrained from endorsing any candidate.

Schwarzman was a sometimes controversial figure during Trump’s presidency. He earned the nickname “China whisperer” for his close ties to the Chinese government and business leaders. During Trump’s time in office, Schwarzman was often seen as urging the president to adopt a softer stance on trade with China.

In his bestselling book Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win, Peter Schweizer describes Schwarzman as jokingly claiming he served both as the “unofficial U.S. ambassador to China” and the “unofficial Chinese ambassador to the U.S.”

Unlike some of Trump’s business and financial sector allies, Schwarzman remained loyal to the president following the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, countering reports that he was outraged at Trump’s remarks about the incident.

Axios reports that those close to Schwarzman attribute his return to Trump’s camp to growing concerns about antisemitism and disappointment with President Biden’s policies.

“The dramatic rise of antisemitism has led me to focus on the consequences of upcoming elections with greater urgency,” Schwarzman told Axios. “I share the concern of most Americans that our economic, immigration, and foreign policies are taking the country in the wrong direction. For these reasons, I am planning to vote for change and support Donald Trump for President. Additionally, I will be supporting Republican Senate candidates and other Republicans across the ticket.”

This marks a shift from Schwarzman’s previous stance. In November 2020, he urged Trump to concede his election defeat. Following the Republicans’ poor performance in the midterm elections, Schwarzman informed Axios he was looking for a new-generation candidate for the 2024 elections.

“America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Schwarzman remarked in November 2022. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders, and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”

Schwarzman joins a wave of GOP officials and supporters recently rallying behind Trump as the November election approaches. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, once a rival for the GOP presidential nomination, disclosed in a speech at the Hudson Institute on Wednesday that she plans to vote for former President Donald Trump in the upcoming election.

John Carney
John Carney
Before I became a journalist, I practiced law at Skadden Arps and Latham & Watkins.

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