What Trump told CEOs in their private meeting

What Trump told CEOs in their private meeting
Politics

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gives remarks to the press at the National Republican Senatorial Committee building in Washington, June 13, 2024.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

Donald Trump huddled with at least 80 CEOs on Thursday in Washington with a clear pitch: If he is elected president again in November, the CEOs are going to see tax cuts and a curtailment of business regulations, according to people who attended the meeting.

CNBC spoke with people who attended the Business Roundtable’s quarterly meeting and others familiar with what took place there, all of whom were granted anonymity in order to speak freely about a private gathering.

Trump said that if he is returned to the White House he will cut taxes, including income taxes, and bring back the same economic policies he enacted during his first term, according to people who were in the meeting.

“We’re going to give you more of the same for the next four years,” a person who was in the room said, describing Trump’s message for the company leaders.

Trump said he wants to bring the federal corporate tax rate down from 21% to 20% if he were to become president, according to a person familiar with his remarks.

Trump also mentioned to the CEOs a recent proposal he rolled out in Nevada, to eliminate taxes on worker tips, said people who were in the room. Trump then told the CEOs a story about how excited tipped workers were about his proposal, prompting laughter from the corporate leaders, according to multiple people.

Trump spoke for about an hour at the meeting, said people in attendance. The audience included JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, according to spokespeople from their companies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was also there, said two people who were in the room. A spokesperson for Cook declined to comment on whether he attended the meeting.

President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Jeff Zients addressed the group earlier in the day, one attendee said.

Representatives for the Trump campaign and the Business Roundtable did not respond to requests for comment before publication.

For Trump and the CEOs who attended, the meeting represented an effort to mend relations after some have distanced themselves from the former president.

In 2017, the Trump administration’s major business advisory groups were disbanded after members began resigning in response to Trump‘s attempt to equate “both sides” of the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests, one side of which featured white nationalists. During the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, on Capitol Hill, executives, including members of the Business Roundtable, called on Trump to stop the violence.

In the meeting Thursday, Trump also took a dig at Biden. “We need a president who is at the top of his game, and let’s face it, this president is not at the top of his game,” Trump said, according to a person who was in the room.

Trump told a meeting full of House Republicans earlier in the day about the idea of imposing an “all tariff policy” that he said would enable the U.S. to get rid of income tax, according to attendees who were granted anonymity to speak about a private meeting.

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