Politics

GOP billionaires have forgiven Trump for that whole insurrection thing

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Many of the billionaires who claimed they were “sorry” they voted for Donald Trump in 2020, supported other Republican primary candidates this past year, and denounced Trump’s attempted insurrection are all being wooed back to the MAGA fold, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

A few weeks ago, The New York Times reported that the Trump campaign met with the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, down in Palm Beach, Florida, in the hopes of securing some cash. WaPo reports that the other big billionaires Trump met with that day included GOP megadonor Nelson Peltz, who had previously said the Jan. 6. insurrection was a “disgrace.”

In fact, the meeting took place, according to WaPo, at “Peltz’s luxurious Palm Beach oceanfront mansion.” Now Peltz is saying he will “probably” vote for Trump in 2024. This is happening at the same time that Trump is openly campaigning on a promise to release convicted Jan. 6 insurrectionists. 

Peltz is not alone in seemingly despising Trump while being willing to support him in some fashion in the upcoming election. After the Times article was published, Musk posted, “I am not donating money to either candidate for US President” on X, formerly Twitter, the social media platform he bought for $44 billion. And while it was only two years ago that Trump was calling Musk “a bullshit artist” at rallies, Musk continues to post attacks on President Joe Biden and other Democrats that mimic Republican talking points.

According to the Post, this is all due to the Biden administration’s very popular stance that the rich need to pay their fair share of taxes—a position he hammered once again during his recent State of the Union address.

Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, told the Post that “The billionaire class is really threatened by Biden: These guys are about creating a dynasty of wealth for themselves, and hoarding it for their posterity, at the expense of everyone else in society.”

But Peltz isn’t the only billionaire changing his faux-moral tune. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, who publicly rejected Trump as a primary candidate in 2024 and said the GOP needed “to turn to a new generation of leaders,” is now thinking about getting back on the Trump train, with his advisers holding talks with Trump’s team in the past few weeks.

Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, who seemingly backed every candidate but Donald Trump this past year, is now working on writing a big check to the disgraced former president. Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin—who previously ruled out backing Trump, saying it was “time for America to move on”—recently told CNBC’s Sara Eisen during an interview, “I think for investors, overall, a Trump administration is good for our capital.”

Earlier this year, at the rich people conference known as the World Economic Forum, reports emerged that the world’s richest CEOs were hedging how terrible a person Trump is by pooh-poohing the threat he presents to democracy. JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon said that while he didn’t “like how [Trump] said things about Mexico” (here’s a reminder of some of the racist things Trump has said), he still thought Trump was “right” about a lot of stuff.

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