Top CEOs ‘don’t want to risk public blowback’ for supporting Trump, analyst says

While some Wall Street billionaires are openly supporting Donald Trump’s bid to return to the White House, most top executives at publicly traded companies are a different story, according to Pangaea Policy founder Terry Haines.

The former president’s conviction on 34 felony counts by a New York jury will lead to a “measurable but small drip, drip, drip away from Trump” among the overall electorate, he told Bloomberg TV on Friday after telling clients in note that it will also make attracting serious financial and political backing on Wall Street harder.

That’s despite billionaires like Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Miriam Adelson supporting Trump, with and Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman slamming the hush-money trial and reportedly leaning toward endorsing Trump too.

But Haines drew a distinction between billionaires like that and the heads of most other large, public companies.

“If you’re looking for the average Fortune 500 CEO or C-suite person who has to answer to shareholders, they’re going to be awfully circumspect about how they put themselves out there or if they put themselves out there at all,” he said. “I mean, they don’t want to risk public blowback for supporting Trump, I think.”

Meanwhile, the conviction has sparked a surge in fundraising with the Republican Party’s WinRed platform collapsing briefly on Thursday under the weight of grassroots donors. On Friday evening, the Trump campaign said it took in nearly $53 million in the 24 hours after the verdict, setting a new Republican record and narrowing the fundraising gap with President Joe Biden.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention starts in Milwaukee on July 14.

Regardless of what sentence Trump receives, Haines expects the convention to be “put forward at a very high pitch,” which may help energize the Republican base.

“But I think that turns off a lot of the independents that Trump needs in order to win the general” election, he added. “I think that might be a problem for him.”