Welcome to the first Monday of the new White House.
The day began with a breakfast meeting in the Roosevelt Room with top business leaders. Pool was ushered into the room at 8:56 a.m. and found the collection of CEOs mingling over coffee, pastries and fresh fruit. Neither POTUS nor VPOTUS were there initially.
Spotted was Elon Musk, head of SpaceX, chatting with adviser Stephen Miller. Other business chiefs included Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Wendell Weeks of Corning. Full list below.
Placards for Reince Priebus, chief of staff, and Steve Bannon, chief strategist, were set at either end of a long dining room table that divided the CEOs, all in dark suits, from the pool.
At 8:59 a.m. VPOTUS entered the room and the clump of business leaders shifted in his direction. Mingling continued until 9:05 a.m. when POTUS walked in with a hearty “Good morning, everyone.”
“This is really our first official meeting,” began POTUS. He promised the get-togethers would be a staple of the new White House. “We’ll have these meetings every -- whenever you need them. I would say every quarter, perhaps. You could say monthly but then all of a sudden monthly becomes repetitive.”
POTUS sat at center of table, with VPOTUS across from him. “He’s very much involved with me on that,” said POTUS of VPOTUS role in trade and the economy. “It’s what the people wanted. It’s one the reasons I’m sitting here instead of someone else sitting here. I think it’s something I’m good at.”
From there, POTUS launched into a roughly 10-minute discussion of trades, taxes and regulations.
“We want to start making our products again,” POTUS said. “If you look at some of the original great people that ran this country, you will see they felt very strongly about that.”
“We are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies. And that’s massively. We’re trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.”
“A bigger thing, and that surprised me, is the fact that we are going to be cutting regulation massively. Now we are going to have regulation and it will be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now. The problem with the regulation you have right now is that you can’t do anything.”
“We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent,” POTUS continued. “Maybe more.”
At that point, POTUS reached over to shake the hand of Michael Dell of Dell Technologies. “Or when Dell wants to come in and do something monstrous and special, you are going to have your approvals really fast.”
But he added a warning. U.S. companies that go abroad would pay a heavy price. “If that happens, we are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the products when it comes in.”
Mr. Michael S. Dell, Dell Technologies
Mr. Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool
Mr. Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company
Mr. Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
Ms. Marillyn A. Hewson, Lockheed Martin
Mr. Klaus Kleinfeld, Arconic
Mr. Andrew N. Liveris, Dow Chemical
Mr. Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel
Mr. Elon R. Musk, SpaceX
Mr. Kevin Plank, Under Armour
Mr. Mark S. Sutton, International Paper
Mr. Wendell P. Weeks, Corning
Mark K. Matthews
Reporter, Washington Bureau
The Denver Post
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