Politics

President Trump’s business allies begin to distance themselves from him after the Capitol Hill uprising

 

President Donald Trump looks on during a rally in support of incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue ahead of a Senate runoff in Dalton, Georgia, Jan. 4, 2021.

Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

After years of defending and clinging to him, some of President Donald Trump’s allies in the business world began to distance themselves from him after Wednesday’s deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

The withdrawal casts doubt on whether these business leaders will support him in the future – including whether he will run for president again in 2024.

“Bye, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Donald Trump,” said one of the president’s top election campaigners, also mentioning the two Republican senators who objected to Joe Biden’s electoral college victory. “He’s done,” added the person, referring to Trump.

A former White House official who had worked with business executives in administration was just as open when asked if corporate numbers would side with Trump after Wednesday’s uproar the president sparked.

After Wednesday: “Who the hell is left?” said this person. At least four people were killed and 50 police officers were injured in the protests.

These people refused to be named for fear of retaliation.

Marc Sumerlin, founder of Evenflow Marco, who recently turned down a chance to be on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, beat up Trump on Thursday in a note to his clients.

“A short man who was unloved and angry as a child secured his place as the worst president in United States history yesterday by sparking an insurrection against the US constitutional government,” Sumerlin wrote on the CNBC-audited note. “Two treacherous senators, Cruz and Hawley, both former court clerks, are going to be put in the history books.”

Sumerlin worked as an economic advisor under George W. Bush.

Some business leaders who supported Trump were silent after the Capitol invaded. Representatives of the following Trump donors declined to comment or returned requests for comment: Shipping material magnates Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, investor John Paulson, investor Robert Mercer, and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Tim Mellon, owner of Pan Am Systems, could not be reached.

Following Wednesday’s uprising, executives at private equity giant Apollo Global Management, founded by Trump ally Marc Rowan, sent a memo to employees condemning the Capitol attacks, a company spokeswoman told CNBC.

“The violence on Wednesday in Washington was reprehensible and we strongly condemn it,” Joanna Rose, a spokeswoman for the investment firm, told CNBC.

She also pointed to an open letter signed by members of the New York City Partnership asking Congress to accept the electoral college findings showing that Biden had won the election. James Zelter, Co-President of Apollo, signed the letter.

Some of the executives who have criticized the president over the past 24 hours either recently contributed to his bid for re-election or, in some cases, acted as outside advisors. Rowan was one of the few people on Wall Street who supported the president’s re-election campaign.

The same goes for executives like Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, who was close to Trump for years and who spent a lot of money on both his 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. He did not give a group helping Trump in the final months of the re-election campaign and condemned the pro-Trump uprising in the Capitol.

“The uprising that followed the president’s remarks today is appalling and an affront to the democratic values ‚Äč‚Äčthat we as Americans value. I am shocked and appalled at the attempt by this mob to undermine our constitution,” Schwarzman said in a statement across from CNBC late Wednesday. “As I said in November, the outcome of the election is very clear and there has to be a peaceful change of power.”

Schwarzman had previously said in November that Biden had won the election and was ready to work with the new administration.

Nelson Peltz, a longtime investor who hosted a major fundraiser for Trump in February, signed a statement with other business associates to CNBC and blew up the president.

“We condemn President Trump’s efforts to reverse the election results that culminated in the shocking events of yesterday in our Capitol. This president must commit to a peaceful transfer of power,” said Trian’s co-founders’ statement.

Safra Catz, CEO of tech giant Oracle, and Larry Ellison, founder of the company, have been associated with Trump since his victory in 2016. Trump participated in a re-election fundraiser at Ellison’s California home early last year.

Although they hadn’t responded to CNBC’s request for comment, a person close to them said the Washington uprising will dampen the president’s legacy. This person also predicted that, outside of his key supporters, many people who voted for Trump will regret their decision.

Jeffrey Spokesman, CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange and Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, donated $ 1 million to the pro-Trump super-PAC America First Action last year. Kelly Loeffler’s husband, who lost to Raphael Warnock in the recent Georgia Senate runoff, is also the spokesperson.

A spokesman for Sprecher said he condemned what happened at the Capitol on Wednesday but avoided mentioning Trump.

“Mr. Sprecher, along with business executives, condemns the lawlessness that emerged at the Capitol yesterday,” Josh King, a spokesman for Intercontinental Exchange, said in an email.

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

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