Trump Reportedly Unfocused, Erratic in CEO Meeting

Top CEOs question Trump's clarity in policy discussion

by Zain ul Abedin
Trump Reportedly Unfocused, Erratic in CEO Meeting
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump's recent private meeting with top business leaders in Washington left many CEOs questioning his coherence and policy clarity, sources say. The gathering, which took place earlier this week, included influential figures such as Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, all under the watchful eye of CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.

During the meeting, Donald Trump, who is the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, discussed his ambitions to further reduce the corporate tax rate - from the current 21% to 20%. His rationale for choosing 20%, he explained, was because it is a "round number," a justification that reportedly caused some bewilderment among the attendees given the significant financial implications of such a tax cut.

According to Sorkin, the CEOs entered the meeting with a somewhat favorable view of Trump, many leaning towards supporting him in the upcoming November elections. However, their sentiment shifted dramatically by the end of the discussion.

Trump's presentation was described as "remarkably meandering." He frequently switched topics without warning, and his overall energy appeared subdued, leaving a stark contrast to the decisive and energetic persona he is known for.

CEO Concerns Emerge

Sorkin, who also spoke on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” shared that the executives were "a bit disheartened" and "questioning" not necessarily Trump's mental fitness but his ability to maintain a coherent train of thought.

"He would go in one direction and then veer off into another, and there wasn’t really a through line in the way he spoke or what he was discussing," Sorkin recounted. Despite the lackluster response from the business leaders, Steven Cheung, communications director for Trump’s 2024 campaign, insisted that the former president was "warmly received by everyone in the room" and praised for his previous policies on deregulation and tax cuts.