Several CEOs of major corporations are threatening to pull financial support from congressional Republicans backing President Donald Trump’s election challenge, according to Yale School of Management’s Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.
What are the details?
Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the prominent business school, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Tuesday that more than two dozen chief executives were considering the move as a way to express their frustration with Trump and his Republican allies’ attempts to overturn the election.
The business leaders reportedly made the comments during a virtual conference hosted by Sonnenfeld earlier that day, in which 33 unnamed executives from a variety of sectors including finance, pharmacy, transportation, and manufacturing were present.
According to Sonnenfeld, every executive on the call answered “yes” to the survey question, “Should CEOs warn lobbyists privately that their firms will no longer support election result deniers in Congress?” Additionally, nearly nine in 10 said they were in favor of cutting off support.
“The GOP acting this way — these GOP members are certainly not the voice of American business, large or small. So they’re talking about cutting off support,” Sonnenfeld said.
New CEO survey on public officials denying election results
He added the executives on the call, who reportedly joined on the condition of confidentiality, said the situation was causing “divided communities, angry workforces, and hostile workplaces” and that “this is not business as usual.”
They reportedly expressed a desire to move beyond statements and start to “put our money where our mouth is.”
What’s the background?
President Trump has maintained for the better part of two months that the 2020 election was fraudulent, and his legal team has filed numerous legal challenges to the results in battleground states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona, but thus far to no avail.
But, in recent days, a new long-shot strategy has emerged as several Republican House and Senate members announced their intention to object when Congress moves to officially count Electoral College votes on Jan. 6 and demand a commission to audit the results. The challenge, however, is all but certain to fail.
Sonnenfeld said the potential of a chaotic transition is what gave rise to the last-minute the conference Tuesday. Given that fact, it might be fair to assume that the participating CEOs were not ones particularly supportive of Trump in the first place. But due to the call’s confidentiality, only Sonnenfeld knows their identities.