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100-Plus Corporate Executives Met With Trump Since Charlottesville Neo-Nazi Rally

Despite previously distancing themselves from the Administration, many companies have come crawling back

WASHINGTON - Corporate executives strongly condemned the president’s bigoted comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, but since then, more than 100 corporate leaders from 91 businesses have flocked to the president’s side, Public Citizen found.

After President Donald Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence, many executives on the president’s business advisory councils, including CEOs of Merck, Under Armour and Intel, resigned from the groups before Trump disbanded the councils completely.

Among CEOs who were not on the councils who issued statements condemning Trump’s refusal to unequivocally condemn neo-Nazi violence were executives from Aetna, Airbnb, Apple, Nike and Peebles.

However, many companies who tried to distance themselves from the president’s words have met with Trump within the past year, including Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky, Apple’s Tim Cook and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon.  

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With Public Citizen’s previous tally, the total number of Trump’s corporate executive meetings since his election is at least 502.

According to a National Bureau of Economic Research analysis of the last administration’s White House visitor logs, Obama had exactly 100 corporate executive meetings during his first seven years in office.

“The corporate class’ continued coziness with the president, despite their condemnations, betrays their cowardice,” said Rick Claypool, a Public Citizen research director. “Corporate executives have demonstrated that they distanced themselves from the president just for show.”

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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