Wall Street

Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein: 'Isolate those who try to separate us'

Key Points
  • CEO Lloyd Blankfein posted on Twitter that people should "Isolate those who try to separate us."
  • His remarks join a growing number of corporate CEOs expressing dissatisfaction with the administration's response to white supremacist violence in Virginia.
  • Merck's CEO tweeted, "I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein invoked Abraham Lincoln in a social media post Monday morning that joins corporate America's growing backlash to the Trump administration.

Blankfein didn't mention the president by name in his tweet, but invoked Lincoln's words from an 1858 speech, "a house divided against itself cannot stand." In his own words, Blankfein added, "Isolate those who try to separate us. No equivalence w/ those who bring us together."


The tweet comes the same morning Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier resigned from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council in protest of Trump's response to the weekend's white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In his own tweet on Monday, Frazier wrote, "I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."

Members of both political parties as well as corporate America are taking to social media to condemn Trump's tepid response to the violence that led to three deaths over the weekend in Virginia.

Blankfein has publicly criticized actions by the administration before, posting his very first tweet in June that the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate-change accord was "a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership in the world." Other CEOs quit White House advisory councils in June after that decision, including Tesla's Elon Musk and Disney's Robert Iger.

The criticism of the administration's leadership potentially sets up an awkward dynamic. Several of Trump's top advisors are former Goldman executives, including Gary Cohn, Blankfein's former second-in-command who is now President Trump's top economic advisor as director of the National Economic Council.

Blankfein has a history of donating to both Democrats and Republicans, according to records by Open Secrets, including Hillary Clinton in 2007 and, more recently, GOP Sens. Roy Blunt and Richard Shelby. But last fall, the bank told high-ranking executives they couldn't donate to certain political campaigns in a policy that prevented support for the Trump-Pence ticket. (The policy banned giving to state officials who were seeking federal office, and Vice President Pence was Indiana's sitting governor. Clinton wasn't in office and her running mate was a senator from Virginia.)