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GOP megadonor Stephen Schwarzman defects from Trump after 2024 announcement

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Stephen Schwarzman — chairman, CEO and co-founder of private-equity giant Blackstone — says in a statement to Axios that he’s defecting from former President Trump for the 2024 presidential race.

Driving the news: “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Schwarzman says.

  • “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”

Why it matters: This is a major defection by a GOP megadonor who was close to Trump — very engaged with him on trade issues — and had real pull in the Trump White House.

The big picture: It’s the second GOP megadonor to come out against Trump in two weeks.

  • Ken Griffin — the billionaire founder of the Citadel hedge fund, who had praised Trump policies — endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week.
  • Griffin, who moved Citadel’s headquarters to Miami this year, told Bloomberg yesterday that Trump is a “three-time loser.”

Between the lines: Two of the country’s largest and most influential Republican donors are looking for a next-generation candidate.

  • Trump doesn’t need the money. But the statements by Schwarzman and Griffin are likely to give cover and backbone to some Republican elected officials to move on.

Another top Trump backer — his own daughter — announced her detachment from his political career last night.

  • Ivanka Trump, a former White House official, said on Instagram, as her dad announced his third run for president:

I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena. I am grateful to have had the honor of serving the American people and I will always be proud of many of our Administration’s accomplishments.