CEOs Plan to Sidestep Trump in White House Talks

They're distancing themselves from the president
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2017 12:40 AM CDT
CEOs Plan to Sidestep Trump in White House Talks
In this Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with manufacturing executives at the White House.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

America's business leaders are working on ways to distance themselves from President Trump without completely giving up on influencing the White House, analysts say. With the White House business advisory councils disbanded and CEOs steering clear of Trump after his remarks on Charlottesville, companies plan to try to deal with people like Vice President Mike Pence and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to make their cases on issues like taxation and regulation, analysts tell Politico. The loss of public support from business leaders means much more lobbying is expected to take place behind the scenes.

"Businesses will continue to engage on the issues important to the American economy, just through different venues," says Michael Steel at PR firm Hamilton Place Strategies. "Many people in the business community are frustrated by the president’s words and tweets on Charlottesville," he says, but they're not about to give up on lobbying the government. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs exec, has strong ties to the business world and is seen as a "lifeline" for worried execs, the Washington Post reports. Sources say Cohn, who is Jewish, was very unhappy with Trump's Charlottesville comments, though the White House announced Thursday that he will not be resigning. (More President Trump stories.)

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