The CEO of one of Wall Street’s biggest investment firms issued a public statement bemoaning the violence protests in Charlottesville, but has decided to stay on as chair of one of President Trump’s advisory councils even as other corporate titans step down due to the president’s statements and actions.
Schwarzman released a statement on Monday saying that “Bigotry, hatred and extremism are an affront to core American values and have no place in this country. I am deeply saddened and troubled by the tragic events in Charlottesville. My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims and their families. As the President said today, I believe we need to find a path forward to heal the wounds left by this tragedy and address its underlying causes. Encouraging tolerance and understanding must be a core national imperative and I will work to further that goal.”
Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, will remain in his position as the chairman of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, Blackstone spokesman Matt Anderson told the Forward on Tuesday. “There’s no change” in Schwarzman’s status, Anderson said.
The CEO was quoted by Bloomberg News on Saturday as saying that Trump’s much-derided original statement on the events in Charlottesville — which criticized violence “on many sides” — wasn’t so bad. “I thought he was talking about the violence on both sides,” Schwarzman reportedly said. “I don’t think it was a far-reaching statement.”
At least four CEOs have resigned from various presidential advisory bodies in the past few days, with other corporate leaders, including the CEO of Wal-Mart, strongly rebuking the president’s original statement.