Billionaire private equity chief Stephen A. Schwarzman, the CEO of The Blackstone Group (BX), has known President Donald Trump for years.
Schwarzman contends the main thing people get wrong about Trump is paying too much attention to his tweets.
While it takes a "long time" to answer a question about what people get wrong about the president, the one thing is that "all of these Tweets are not worth listening to," Schwarzman added. "And for some reason, everybody is focused on them all. I never have been," the 72-year-old investor this week at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit.
Of course, that’s easier said than done when the president uses the platform to inveigh against the Federal Reserve, make personnel and policy announcements, and attack his opponents. Wall Street has even found a link between Trump’s tweets and market volatility — such as JPMorgan Chase, who recently created a “Covfefe Index” for that purpose.
"Some of [Trump’s tweets] are just indicative of a general area of concern and aren't meant to be taken literally. And with today's news media — it doesn't matter whether it's left or right — people just hang on every word,” he said. “I've always thought that would drive them nuts. And that's where they've ended up as a society."
In his best-selling book, What It Takes, Schwarzman writes, "From the moment Donald Trump was elected president, I had been getting calls from people who did not know what to make of him. They had listened to him during the campaign and were nervous about what he might do."
Schwarzman, who is no stranger to engaging with political leaders, met with people both foreign and domestic to hear their concerns.
“A lot of people knew Donald Trump, and nobody knew what he would be like in a presidential position. And so they were basically without any knowledge and had a lot of concerns about it,” Schwarzman told Yahoo Finance.
“And so I would meet with them, and see what was on their mind, and see if I could solve some of the issues,” he added.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.