‘Time For You To Resign’: Business Leaders Condemn Trump After Chaos At The Capitol

Topline

The U.S. business community, which has benefited from President Trump’s efforts to boost its profits through tax cuts, corporate deregulation and protectionist trade policy, heaped unprecedentedly sharp criticism on him after the anger he has stoked in his drive to overturn the results of the presidential election boiled over in the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. 

Key Facts

In the sharpest condemnation from a prominent business figure, Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, called on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office, describing the Trump supporters in the Capitol as “armed thugs” and their activities as “sedition.”  

Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman also took his criticism a step further Wednesday and called for Trump’s resignation.

In an announcement that Trump will be banned from Facebook and Instagram for at least two weeks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Trump had used the platform to “incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”

The Business Roundtable, an organization of top American CEOs, described Wednesday’s events as the “result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election” and called on Trump to “facilitate the peaceful transition of power.”

In a statement obtained by Bloomberg, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “this is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this.” 

Billionaire Stephen Schwartzman, a cofounder of the private equity firm Blackstone Group who has backed Trump, said the “insurrection” that resulted from Trump’s statements Wednesday was “appalling” and an “affront to the Democratic values we hold dear as Americans.” 

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said that the United States has “squandered . . . goodwill at a rapid pace” and called for a peaceful transition of power, CNBC reported.

In a tweet, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff asserted that there is “no room for violence in our democracy.”

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called Wednesday’s events “deeply disturbing” and said, “Now is the time to come together . . . whether we are Republicans or Democrats.”

Microsoft President Brad Smith also weighed in Wednesday, sharing the Business Roundtable’s statement and adding that “this is a day to speak up for our Constitution and its values.” 

Citi CEO Michael Corbat  said he was “disgusted” by the actions of the mob that stormed the Capitol but reaffirmed his “faith in our democratic process.”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, wrote Wednesday that “the lawlessness and violence occurring on Capitol Hill today is the antithesis of democracy, and we strongly condemn it,” Reuters reported.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called Wednesday’s events a “sad and shameful” chapter in American history and called for those responsible for the violence at the Capitol to be held accountable.

Key Background

As Congress met on Wednesday to tally the votes of the Electoral College and affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol Building in an attempt to overturn the results. The violent incursion forced the evacuation of lawmakers from both chambers of Congress for several hours as the mob roamed freely through the building and entered both the House and Senate chambers. Law enforcement eventually cleared the Capitol Building and the certification of the results resumed. Congress finished the process in the early hours of Thursday morning. 

Further Reading

‘There Will Be An Orderly Transition’: Trump Begrudgingly Acknowledges Electoral College Certification (Forbes)

Congress Certifies Biden’s Victory After Pro-Trump Rioters Storm U.S. Capitol (Forbes)

Reports: Cabinet Members In Discussions To Remove Trump As President By Invoking 25th Amendment (Forbes)

Four Dead, 52 Arrested Amid Pro-Trump Capitol Riots (Forbes)

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