Blackstone's Schwarzman says it 'made no sense' that Trump would collude with Russia - Southern Business Review


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Friday, March 22, 2019

Blackstone's Schwarzman says it 'made no sense' that Trump would collude with Russia

Accusations that U.S. President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to help him win the 2016 presidential election "made no sense," said Steve Schwarzman, the chief executive of asset management giant Blackstone.

Schwarzman made the comment on Saturday, one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his long-awaited report to Attorney General William Barr. Mueller and his team investigated possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.

"The allegations that the president and the senior people were conspiring with Russians to rig an American election ... just made no sense to me," Schwarzman told CNBC's Eunice Yoon at the China Development Forum in Beijing. Yoon had asked whether the Mueller report could become a risk to the U.S. and global economy.

Schwarzman became an important backer of the GOP after the 2016 election, donating just over $12.8 million to the party last year. The billionaire didn't donate to the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race, nor did he endorse Trump's candidacy then, according to The Washington Post.

The findings of the Mueller report have not been made public, and it's still not clear how much will be revealed. So far, 34 people and three Russian companies have faced charges as a result of the investigation.

Asked whether the Mueller report would help clear the air, Schwarzman said "it definitely removes some potential burden" — which could be positive for the Trump administration's trade negotiations with China.

Negotiators from the U.S. and China are expected to meet in Beijing on March 28-29 for the next round of talks. Schwarzman said it's a good development that both sides have been meeting to keep conversations going.

"The way they make progress is actually having meetings ... I think if they continue along that way, it's pretty good prospect that they can come to some agreement," he said.