Business leaders, citing damage to country, urge Trump to begin transition

By | November 23, 2020

The New York Times reports:

Concerned that President Trump’s refusal to accept the election results is hurting the country, more than 160 top American executives asked the administration on Monday to immediately acknowledge Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration.

Even one of Mr. Trump’s stalwart supporters, Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone, the private equity firm, said in a statement that “the outcome is very certain today and the country should move on.” While he did not sign a letter sent to the administration by the other executives, he said he was “now ready to help President-elect Biden and his team.”

Signatories to the letter included the chief executives of Mastercard, Visa, MetLife, Accenture, the Carlyle Group, Condé Nast, McGraw-Hill, WeWork and American International Group, among others. They included some of the most important players in the financial industry: David M. Solomon, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of the asset management giant BlackRock; Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president; and Henry R. Kravis, a prominent Republican donor who is the co-chief executive of KKR, a private equity firm.

The letter was also signed by George H. Walker, the chief executive of the money manager Neuberger Berman and a second cousin to President George W. Bush, and Jeff T. Blau, the chief executive of one of New York City’s largest private developers, the Related Companies, who has been a major donor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, filings show.

The move was one of many signs that Mr. Trump is losing support. On Monday, General Motors said that it would abandon Mr. Trump’s battle to nullify California’s fuel economy rules meant to curb global warming, and more than 100 prominent national security experts who are Republicans or served in Republican administrations implored G.O.P. members of Congress to demand that Mr. Trump concede and allow the transition to begin.

As a way of gaining leverage over the G.O.P., some of the corporate executives who signed on to the joint letter Monday have also discussed withholding campaign donations from the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia unless party leaders agree to push for a presidential transition, according to four people who participated in a conference call Friday in which the notion was discussed. The two runoff elections in Georgia, which will take place in early January, will determine the balance of power in the United States Senate. [Continue reading…]

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