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Billionaire Schwarzman on Trump-CEO council controversy: I was accused of being 'a Nazi'

  • Schwarzman says he and other CEOs were under "astonishing pressure" as advisors to President Trump.
  • The business forum Schwarzman led that advised Trump disbanded following comments by the president that appeared supportive of white supremacists.

Blackstone co-founder Steve Schwarzman said Tuesday he was accused of being a Nazi in emails he received following President Donald Trump's comments that appeared to support white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Schwarzman, who is Jewish, described the time as one of "astonishing pressure" on a group of corporate CEOs like himself who had been part of a White House policy forum advising the president.

"You should have seen some of the emails I got," Schwarzman said at the Delivering Alpha conference in New York. "I was accused of being a Nazi."

The conference is presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

Two corporate advisory councils disbanded after CEOs came under pressure following Trump's comments that blamed "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville. Schwarzman, who led the policy council, said he knew his fellow business chiefs were hearing from shareholders and employees voicing displeasure about Trump's remarks and he spoke to forum members for a minute each to hear their concerns.

"We had an orderly process," Schwarzman said.

He would not directly comment on reports that Trump pre-empted the forum's announcement that it was disbanding by tweeting that he was dissolving the group. "This is the political world," he said. "I don't control it."

Schwarzman also would not say how recently he has spoken to the president, though he did say he continues to be in contact. He said he has counseled past presidents as well, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. "People who have backgrounds that are relevant should help" the president and the country, he said. "You have an obligation."

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Previous Years

  • The stage at Delivering Alpha 2016 in New York on Sept. 13, 2016.

    CNBC and Institutional Investor hosted the 6th Annual Delivering Alpha Conference on September 13, 2016.

  • Dawn Fitzpatrick, Ross Margolies, Brian Pellegrino, and Mary Callahan Erdoes.

    Meet the 2016 advisory board of Delivering Alpha, which took place on September 13, 2016 at The Pierre in New York City.

  • CNBC and Institutional Investor hosted the 5th annual Delivering Alpha Conference on July 15, 2015.

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CNBC and Institutional Investor hosted the 7th Annual Delivering Alpha Conference in New York City. Delivering Alpha continued to be an incomparable who's who of the investor community, with hedge fund titans, private equity giants and top institutional investors offering candid views, along with illustrious political and economic commentators appearing in segments moderated by CNBC talent and II editors.

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