Corporate executives strongly condemned Trump’s refusal to unequivocally denounce the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville last year. They resigned from the president’s advisory councils in droves and issued strong statements against racism.
But since that tragic day when a white nationalist drove a car into protestors opposing the rally and activist Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others were injured, President Trump has had at least 114 meetings with 106 corporate executives representing 90 different businesses.
A previous Public Citizen tally found Trump had met with more than 300 corporate executives before Charlottesville.
Corporate executives started leaving Trump’s councils after the president infamously blamed “both sides” for the violence.
Knowing a PR nightmare when they see one, the corporate executives that comprised Trump’s business advisory councils — the Strategy and Policy Forum and the Manufacturing Council — publicly distanced themselves from the president. The CEOs of Merck, Under Armour, Intel, 3M, Blackrock and Campbell’s Soup were the first to resign from the councils.
Trump disbanded the councils with a post on Twitter.
After the councils were disbanded, the council member CEOs of Boeing, Blackstone, Dow Chemical, EY, General Motors, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, and United Technologies Corporation also released statements.
CEOs who strongly criticized President Trump after Charlottesville yet subsequently met with the president include Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky, Apple’s Tim Cook and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon.
With Public Citizen’s previous report, this brings the tally of Trump corporate executive meetings up to 500 meetings with 396 executives representing 351 corporations.
According to a National Bureau of Economic Research analysis of the Obama administration’s White House visitor logs, Obama had exactly 100 corporate executive meetings during the first seven years of his presidency. The analysis found that corporate executives’ meetings with the White House correlate with increased stock returns, government contracts and deregulatory favors. More