Top business leaders tell Donald Trump to admit defeat as transition needs to begin for sake of Americans' safety
Thomas Donohue, Chamber of Commerce CEO and a longtime ally to GOP presidents, said that Trump should not delay the transition any longer
With President Donald Trump refusing to concede his defeat to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, America’s corporate world is sensing a big trouble. Experts have warned that the markets could witness a “nightmare scenario” if the incumbent manages to turn around the election results in his favor. CEOs of a number of companies also held a video-conference recently discussing the collective action they could take in case Trump remained adamant on his position to not concede. Now, it seems the corporate leaders who have traditionally been allies to Republican presidents, have also started dumping Trump.
Chamber of Commerce CEO backs Biden
Axios reported on Thursday, November 19, that Thomas Donohue, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and a longtime confidant of GOP presidents, acknowledged Biden is the winner of the presidential election and Trump “should not delay the transition in a moment longer”. The business leaders, nevertheless, respect Trump’s move to litigate the results of the November 3 election but they have also advised him to cooperate with Biden’s transition team.
“President-elect Biden and the team around him have a wealth of executive branch experience that should allow them to hit the ground running,” Donohue told Axios, adding: “[W]hile the Trump administration can continue litigating to confirm election outcomes, for the sake of Americans' safety and well-being, it should not delay the transition a moment longer.”
Donohue is not the only prominent voice from the industry to back Biden. Jay Timmons, president and CEO of National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said along with others that the General Services Administration (GSA) should set the ball rolling by opening transition resources to the incoming president. Emily Murphy, the head of GSA and a Trump appointee, is yet to sign the letter of ascertainment and according to CNN, she has been facing pressure from both sides and even death threats over not signing the document.
Murphy is reportedly working to interpret unclear agency guidelines to wait to sign off on the election result, which is called “ascertainment” that would allow the transition to begin officially. Timmons and other leaders of NAM said in a joint statement on Wednesday, November 18: “Further, we call on the Trump administration to work cooperatively with President-elect Biden and his team.”
Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, told the New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin: “CEOs are being asked to do a lot of things today that they weren’t asked to do in the past.”
Asked about his own calls for a peaceful transition and for national unity, Jamie Dimon says: "CEOs are being asked to do a lot of things today that they weren’t asked to do in the past" #dealbook— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 18, 2020
He also said: “We need a peaceful transition. We had an election. We have a new president. You should support that whether you like it or not because it’s based on a system of faith and trust."
More from Dimon on the election: "We need a peaceful transition. We had an election. We have a new president. You should support that whether you like it or not because it’s based on a system of faith and trust." #dealbook— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 18, 2020
"I’m a patriot before I’m a CEO of JPMorgan.”
"I’m a patriot before I’m a CEO of JPMorgan" #dealbook— Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) November 18, 2020
The Business Roundtable, which represents top CEOs, congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris last weekend in a statement and said while it respects the incumbent’s right to seek recounts and probe into alleged voting irregularities, there is little indication that any of those would alter the eventual outcome.