CEOs in Trump's 'brain trust' demand boost in testing

Donald Trump’s ‘brain trust’ on re-opening starts with top CEOs lining up to demand dramatic increase in testing before they will help re-open the economy – and a chaotic phone-in system which doesn’t work

  • Trump on Tuesday read through a list of more than 100 executives who will be advising him on when to open the country 
  • He is enlisting CEOs from banking, sports, energy, food, and retail industries
  • On a Wednesday call, execs said more testing was needed before Americans would feel safe going back to work
  • One exec wasn’t able to phone in due to technical problems
  • Many weren’t told they were on the council before it got announced 
  • Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, wasn’t on the list Trump originally read
  • Former George W. Bush Economic Advisor had Trump analyzed from afar and said China considers him a narcissist 
  • Said he had long-term planning of an ’empty chair’ and that his mother did not give him attention
  • Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban called Trump a ‘jag off’ 
  • Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase mocked Trump for inheriting his money from ‘his daddy’ and said he would win if he ran against him

President Donald Trump’s decision to consult dozens of CEOs about when to reopen the country has brought suggestions from some that there first be a huge boost in national testing to make sure it is safe to roll back social distancing.

Trump announced a massive advisory effort Tuesday, with the White House releasing more than 200 names. Trump indicated Wednesday he will hold a press conference Wednesday about reopening guidelines, saying the nation has ‘passed the peak’ – after holding just a single day of calls with his advisors.

Banking, food, and hospitality executives on one call with about three dozen of them told the president Americans would go back to work only after the nation had instituted sufficient testing to protect their safety, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Many of the execs took time to praise Trump on the hour-long call, which fits with a pattern of public events Trump orchestrates with executives.

‘A ton of people praising Trump,’ a source told the paper. 

President Trump named more than 100 companies during his Tuesday briefing that he says will provide advice on when to reopen the country. Executives on a Wednesday call with him called for more testing before reopening the country

The call included such executive chiefs as Tim Cook of Apple, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, and Mary Barra of General Motors – whose company’s work to crash-build ventilators earned a bizarre airing of an ad-like video at Wednesday’s White House briefing.  

Complaints about testing have been a mainstay of public reporting, although Trump has bristled at questions about the topic at his daily news conferences. 

One exec who dialed in for the session told CNN the phone didn’t work.  Others said they hadn’t been informed they were on the advisory committee before the president read out names on Tuesday. 

President Trump invited CEOs onto a call where they gave advice about reopening the country

Apple CEO Tim Cook was among those Trump named

Testing kits for the novel coronavirus are stacked at the Velocity Urgent Care April 15, 2020 in Woodbridge, Virginia

Lawmakers including Democrats got emails informing them they were on it – perhaps an indication the White House is trying to establish buy-in for what it ultimately announces.

‘I am emailing to inform you that the President has selected you to serve on a task force comprised of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives,’ read a note obtained by the network. ‘The purpose of the task force is to provide counsel to the President on the re-opening of America in the wake of Covid-19. The formal name of this task force has not yet been announced.’   

Trump read more than 100 names Tuesday, and Tuesday evening the White House announced 200 advisors.  

The latest  expansive list of CEO and executive advisors includes a smattering of critics and people who have ridiculed him in public comments in the past.

The comments have ranged from criticism of the president’s ego, his ability to plan for the future, his personality, to jokes about his multiple bankruptcies as a private businessman. 

One of the members Trump announced Tuesday, former George W. Bush economic advisor Larry Lindsey was referred to the president as a ’10 out of 10 narcissist.’ According to Politico, Lindsey gave a talk to House leaders and committee chairmen, where he shared what he learned from two psychologists he lined up to analyze Trump’s behavior.

Lindsey said China viewed Trump as a ’10-out-of-10 narcissist.’ Lindsey said Trump had the long-term decision-making capacity of an ’empty chair.’

Another advisor, billionaire Mark Cuban, endorsed Hillary Clinton into 2016 and called Trump a ‘jagoff.’

‘Leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating. You know what we call a person like that in Pittsburgh? A jagoff,’ Cuban continued. ‘Is there any bigger jagoff in the world than Donald Trump?’ he said. 

 Days ago, Cuban told ‘Fox News Sunday’ he didn’t share Trump’s view that the country would soon bounce back.

Mark Cuban called Trump a ‘jagoff’ in 2016 when he endorsed Hillary Clinton

‘Out of bounds’: Another member, George W. Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, criticized Trump for asking the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens – and his economic advisor Larry Lindsey called Trump a ’10 out of 10 narcissist’ suggesting he had not got enough maternal attention 

‘I wish he was right, but he’s not,’ Cuban said. ‘I think it’s going to be slower. I think there’s going to be so many different ways we’ll have to adapt to this new abnormal,’ he added. 

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, has repeatedly taken aim at Trump.

In 2018 Dimon, a lifelong Democrat, said: ‘I think I could beat Trump. 

‘Because I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn’t work with me. I’d fight right back.’

For full measure he added: ‘And by the way this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money. It wasn’t a gift from Daddy.’

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also made it onto Trump’s list, although Trump has attacked Bezos repeatedly and recently railed against the Postal Service, which is seeking a multi-billion bailout due to the coronavirus and which is a critical part of the Amazon delivery service.

Trump didn’t include Bezos when he read through 120 names at the Rose Garden at the White House Tuesday. But his name appeared on a list sent out by the White House.

Bezos owns the Washington Post, which changed its motto to ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ after Trump took office. Trump has repeatedly attacked him and has mocked him as ‘Jeff Bozo.’ 

Amazon has accused Trump of putting on ‘improper pressure’ that hurt Amazon and contributed to its loss of a $10 billion Pentagon contract. 

Another member, George W. Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said it was ‘out of bounds’ for Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. 

In October 2016, when his notorious ‘grab them by the p***y’ tape came to light, she tweeted: ‘Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.

‘As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.’ 

Another advisor, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, entered into a plea deal with prosecutors after being arrested in a sting last year for solicitation. 

Also advising Trump is SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Musk walked away from a Trump business advisory council after the president pulled out of the Paris accord on climate change.

‘Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,’ Musk wrote.


The White House release the names of even more people than Trump himself read out in the Rose Garden, grouped by themes. 


American Farm Bureau Federation – Zippy Duvall

Sysco Corporation – Kevin Hourican

Tyson Foods, Inc. – Dean Banks

Perdue Farms, Inc. – Randy Day

Cargill, Inc. – David MacLennan

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company – Juan Luciano

Corteva Agriscience – Jim Collins

Tractor Supply Company – Hal Lawton

Seaboard Corporation – Steven Bresky

Grimmway Farms – Barbara Grimm

Mountaire Farms – Ronnie Cameron


Bank of America – Brian Moynihan

JPMorgan Chase – Jamie Dimon

Goldman Sachs – David Solomon

Citigroup – Michael Corbat

Wells Fargo – Charles Scharf

U.S. Bancorp – Andrew Cecere

Morgan Stanley – James Gorman

Grand Rapids State Bank – Noah Wilcox

Southern Bancorp – Darrin Williams


International Union of Operating Engineers – Jim Callahan

North America’s Building Trades Union – Sean McGarvey

Laborers’ International Union of North America – Terry O’Sullivan

International Brotherhood of Teamsters – Jim Hoffa (James Hoffa Jr.)

National Electrical Contractors Association – David Long

Bechtel – Brendan Bechtel

Fluor – Carlos Hernandez

National Association of Home Builders – Jerry Howard

Associated Builders and Contractors – Michael Bellaman

Associated General Contractors – Stephen Sandherr

AFL-CIO – Richard Trumka

GH Palmer – Geoff Palmer


Lockheed Martin – Marilyn Hewson

Honeywell – Darius Adamczyk

Northrop Grumman – Kathy Warden

Raytheon – Gregory J. Hayes

General Dynamics – Phoebe Novakovic


ExxonMobil – Darren Woods 

Continental Resources – Harold Hamm

Chevron – Mike Wirth

Southern Company – Tom Fanning

Alabama Power – Mark Crosswhite

ConocoPhillips – Ryan Lance

Occidental Petroleum – Vicki Hollub

Kinder Morgan – Steven Kean

Hess Corporation – John Hess

Perot Group and Hillwood – Ross Perot Jr.


Blackstone – Stephen Schwarzman

Paulson & Co. – John Paulson

Citadel LLC – Kenneth Griffin

Elliott Management – Paul Singer

Vista Equity Partners – Robert Smith

Fidelity Investments – Abigail Johnson

Mastercard – Ajay Banga

Visa – Al Kelly

Chubb – Evan Greenberg

Sequoia Capital – Doug Leone

Stephens, Inc. – Warren Stephens

Charles Schwab – Chuck Schwab


National Restaurant Association – Marvin Irby

McDonald’s – Chris Kempczinski

Darden Restaurants – Gene Lee Jr.

Coca-Cola – James Quincey

PepsiCo – Ramon Laguarta

Chick-fil-A – Dan Cathy

Subway – John Chidsey

Bloomin’ Brands – David Deno

YUM! Brands – David Gibbs

Papa Johns – Rob Lynch

Wendy’s – Todd Penegor

Waffle House – Walt Ehmer

Starbucks – Kevin Johnson

Wolfgang Puck

Thomas Keller

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Daniel Boulud

M Crowd Restaurant – Ray Washburne

Jimmy John’s Founder – Jimmy John Liautaud


NewYork-Presbyterian – Jerry Speyer

HCA Healthcare – Sam Hazen

Ascension Health – Joseph R. Impicciche

CommonSpirit Health – Lloyd H. Dean

Community Health Systems – Wayne Smith

Trinity Health – Benjamin Carter

Cardinal Health – Mike Kaufmann

McKesson – Brian Tyler

3M – Mike Roman

Procter & Gamble – David S. Taylor

Abbott Laboratories – Robert Ford

Johnson & Johnson – Alex Gorsky

Merck – Kenneth Frazier

Pfizer – Dr. Albert Bourla

Eli Lilly and Company – Dave Ricks

Thermo Fisher Scientific – Marc Casper

Gilead Sciences – Daniel O’Day

AbbVie – Richard Gonzalez

Regeneron – Leo Schleifer

Biogen – Michel Vounatsos

Roche Diagnostics – Matthew Sause

Anthem – Gail Boudreaux

UnitedHealth Group – David Wichmann

Aetna – Karen Lynch

Cigna – David Cordani

Humana – Bruce Broussard


Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Sheldon Adelson

Marriott – Arne Sorenson

Carnival – Micky Arison

Hilton – Christopher Nassetta

Hyatt – Mark Hoplamazian

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – Geoff Ballotti

Intercontinental Hotels Group – Elie Maalouf

Royal Caribbean – Richard Fain

Norwegian Cruise Lines – Frank Del Rio

Treasure Island Hotels – Phil Ruffin


Caterpillar – Jim Umpleby III

Deere & Company – John May

Cummins – Tom Linebarger

Dow Inc. – James Fitterling

Emerson Electric Company – David Farr

General Electric – Larry Culp

Tesla – Elon Musk

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – Mike Manley

Ford Motor Company – Bill Ford

General Motors Company – Mary Barra

National Association of Manufactures – Jay Timmons

Pernod Ricard – Ann Mukherjee


Simon Property Group – David Simon

Caruso – Rick Caruso

Vornado Realty Trust – Steven Roth

Related Companies – Stephen Ross

Blackstone – Jon Gray

Irvine Company – Don Bren

Starwood Capital Group – Barry Sternlicht

Witkoff Group – Steve Witkoff


Walmart – Doug McMillon

Home Depot – Craig Menear

Home Depot – Ken Langone

Home Depot – Bernie Marcus

The Kroger Co. – Rodney McMullen

Lowe’s – Marvin Ellison

Target – Brian Cornell

CVS Health – Larry Merlo

Rite Aid – Heyward Donigan

Walgreens – Stefano Pessina

Amazon – Jeff Bezos

Menards – John Menard

Best Buy – Hubert Joly

Life Time – Bahram Akradi


Apple – Tim Cook

Google (Alphabet Inc) – Sundar Pichai

Oracle – Larry Ellison

Oracle – Safra Catz

Salesforce – Marc Benioff

SAP – Jen Morgan

Microsoft – Satya Nadella

Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg

IBM – Arvind Krishna

Intel – Bob Swan

Qualcomm – Steven Mollenkopf

Cisco – Chuck Robbins

Advanced Micro Devices – Lisa Su

Broadcom – Hock Tan

Micron – Sanjay Mehrotra


Liberty Media – John Malone

Verizon – Hans Vestberg

T-Mobile – Mike Sievert

Charter Communications – Thomas Rutledge

Comcast – Brian Roberts

Altec – Lee Styslinger


FedEx – Fred Smith

United Airlines – Oscar Munoz

UPS – David Abney

J.B. Hunt – John Roberts III

YRC Worldwide – Darren Hawkins

Crowley Maritime – Tom Crowley Jr.


NBA – Adam Silver

MLB – Rob Manfred

NFL – Roger Goodell

UFC – Dana White

PGA – Jay Monahan

LPGA – Mike Whan

USTA – Patrick Galbraith

MLS – Don Garber

WWE – Vince McMahon

NASCAR – Lesa Kennedy

NHL – Gary Bettman

New England Patriots – Bob Kraft

Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones

Dallas Mavericks – Mark Cuban

WNBA – Cathy Engelbert

NWSL – Lisa Baird


John Allison – retired CEO of BB&T Bank

Kay Coles James – president of the Heritage Foundation 

Condoleezza Rice – George W. Bush Secretary of State

Art Laffer – Reagan economic adviser

Steve Moore – failed Donald Trump Federal Reserve nominee

Steve Forbes – former CEO of Forbes magazine

Larry Lindsey – George W. Bush’s economic adviser

Catherine Reynolds – philanthropist 

Jim DeMint – former senator and Heritage Foundation president

Bill Hagerty – former ambassador to Japan

Scott Gottlieb – former FDA commissioner



Source: Read Full Article