Top Billionaire Says He’s Backing Trump: ‘Vote for Change’

Top Billionaire Says He’s Backing Trump: ‘Vote for Change’

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone speaks alongside then-President Donald Trump in a file photo (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

5/24/2024

Updated: 5/25/2024

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Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO and co-founder of real estate giant Blackstone, said Friday that he is planning to support former President Donald Trump’s campaign as a “vote for change.”
Mr. Schwarzman cited what he called a “dramatic rise of antisemitism” in the United States that has led him to “focus on the consequences of upcoming elections with greater urgency.”
While he did not go into specifics, the Blackstone CEO is likely referring to a number of left-wing protests across U.S. college campuses and elsewhere against Israeli activity in Gaza following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks led by Hamas.
“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. In addition, I will be supporting Republican Senate candidates and other Republicans up and down the ticket,” he told multiple news outlets Friday.
Mr. Schwarzman, a billionaire, had been a supporter of the former president while he was in the White House. But after the 2022 midterm elections, he suggested that Republicans look for a “new generation of leaders” and didn’t back a GOP primary candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
He also said at the time that wouldn’t back President Trump’s reelection bid. Before that, he was critical of the former president after the breach at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Mr. Schwarzman, however, was among the top 10 donors during the 2022 elections, according to records filed with the Federal Elections Commission. He and his wife gave some $35 million to preferred candidates during that election cycle, with much of it going toward Republican candidates.
The vast bulk of President Trump’s fundraising historically has come from small donors. Since he left office, about 90 percent of the people donating to his political groups have given less than $650 per calendar year, according to a Reuters analysis of disclosures filed by WinRed, the dominant Republican donation portal, in early 2024.
Mr. Schwarzman’s vow to back the former president comes two days after former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who unsuccessfully ran against President Trump in the 2024 primary, backed the former president’s White House bid.
On Wednesday, during her first public event since she left the race, Ms. Haley said that the former president is a better candidate than his counterpart, President Joe Biden.
“I’ve made that clear many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe. So I will be voting for Trump,” Ms. Haley said at the Hudson Institute in Washington.
In response, President Trump on Thursday told News 12 in Long Island, New York, that he “appreciated” Ms. Haley said and that she could join his “team,” describing her as a “capable person.” He added, “I think she’s gonna be on our team because we have a lot of the same ideas, the same thoughts.”
“We had a nasty campaign; it was pretty nasty. But she’s a very capable person, and I’m sure she’s going to be on our team in some form. Absolutely,” he continued.
Blackstone is one of the world’s largest real estate companies and is one of the largest investors in leveraged buyouts in the last three decades. It’s not the same as Blackrock, the world’s largest asset management company that has sought to position itself as a leader in the controversial environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) policies.
Mr. Schwarzman is worth about $38 billion as of May 2024, according to an estimate from Forbes magazine. It places him squarely within the top 50 billionaires worldwide.
Other top donors who have said they would back President Trump include professional wrestling entrepreneur Linda McMahon, a longtime Trump donor who headed the Small Business Administration during the Trump administration, as well as Nevada budget hotel tycoon Robert Bigelow, former Marvel Entertainment Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, Mellon banking family heir Timothy Mellon, hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, hotel magnate Steve Wynn, hedge fund manager John Paulson, and more.
“I am pleased to support President Trump in his re-election efforts,” Mr. Paulson told CNN in March. “His policies on the economy, energy, immigration and foreign policy will be very beneficial for the country.”
“We are receiving an overwhelming amount of support from donors,” he told the channel. “This support, along with the landslide victory he achieved in the primaries, shows his strong support amongst Americans.”
President Trump’s campaign has not yet publicly responded to Mr. Schwarzman’s comment on Friday. The Epoch Times contacted Mr. Schwarzman for comment on Friday through email.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5

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