Donald Trump’s decision to dissolve his two business advisory councils in the face of mass defections of corporate leaders and Wall Street titans was a clarifying moment for his presidency. Just as the president promised, he drained the swamp.
Ironically, the swamp was already draining itself as business leaders decided that they agreed with the mainstream media’s interpretation of Trump’s stance on the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president had unequivocally condemned racism and white nationalism while adding that ‘alt-left’ violence was also deplorable. In response he was inaccurately accused of equating white supremacists with “protesters.”
The resignations made it clear that many of the “business leaders” could not be counted on for leadership if that involved standing against the wrath of the mainstream media.
And so the swamp was drained.
Nine executives or labor leaders resigned from the president’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative before it was dissolved.
- Kenneth Frazier of Merck.
- Brian Kzranich of Intel.
- Thea Lee of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.
- Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup.
- Elon Musk of Tesla.
- Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
- Kevin Plank of Under Armour.
- Richard Trumka of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.
Three executives had already quit the White House’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
- Bob Iger of Disney resigned after the President announced the U.S. would exit the Paris climate accord.
- Elon Musk of Tesla also resigned after the Paris climate accord exit.
- Travis Kalanick resigned over the restrictions on travel from certain countries.
According to reports, several CEOs were on the verge of resigning from the Strategic and Policy Forum.
- Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo.
- Mary Barra of General Motors.
- Virginia Rometty of IBM
- Rich Lesser of the Boston Consulting Group.
- Mark Weinberger of Ernst & Young.
- Larry Fink of BlackRock.
- Douglas McMillon of Walmart.
- Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase.
On Wednesday morning, August 16, the members of the Strategic and Policy Forum decided to dissolve the panel. This effectively meant the resignation of the remaining members:
- Adebayo Ogunlesi of Goldman Sachs
- Daniel Yergin of IHS Markit
- Jack Welch of G.E.
- Jim McNerney of Boeing.
- Kevin Warsh of the Hoover Insitute
- Paul Atkins of Patomak
- Toby Crosgove of Cleveland Clinic
The manufacturing panel was also dissolved on Wednesday. At the time, it’s members were:
- Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson
- Andrew Liveris of Dow.
- Bill Harris of Harris Corp.
- Dennis Mullenburg of Boeing
- Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar
- Greg Hayes of United Technologies
- Inge Thulin of 3M
- Jeff Fettig of Whirlpool
- Jeff Immelt of G.E.
- Jim Kamsickas of Dana
- John Ferriola of Nucor
- Klaus Kleinfeld of Arconic
- Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed
- Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel
- Mark Fields of Ford
- Mark Sutton of International Paper
- Michael Dell of Dell
- Michael Polk of Newell Brans
- Richard Kyle of Timken
- Wendell Weeks of Corning.