Feb 9, 2017

Blackstone CEO tells students why he advises Trump

Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group and the leader of Trump's economic advisory council, has been receiving notes from his students at his new college in Beijing — a part of Tsinghua University — expressing their discontent with his new position, per Bloomberg.

There are 110 Schwarzman's Scholars, who come from all over — Romania, Mongolia, Zimbabwe and, of course, China and America — to study the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century, with a heavy emphasis on understanding China's role in global trends. They also have a strong background in politics, public policy and international business, which is why they feel so strongly about Schwarzman's White House role.

In response to his students' criticism, Schwarzman sent an email to his students explaining why counseling Trump is so important:

  • Trump asked him to chair the President's Strategic and Policy Forum along with some of "the most capable business people" in the U.S. to give him "candid feedback." Schwarzman agreed as he believes the forum will be good for the country.
  • Schwarzman said he is "pleased" that the Forum, which has 18 members, is diverse and bi-partisan.
  • As for last week's controversial meeting, Schwarzman encouraged each member to bring 5 personal suggestions of policies and regulations that could be modified or eliminated.
  • In the last 3 weeks he's had "face-to-face conversations" with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Davos, U.K Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the entire Canadian cabinet.
  • Concluded with stating he's shared this information so that his students can take on similar types of roles in their lives, as "having influence and providing sound advice is a good thing, even if it attracts criticism or requires some sacrifice."

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