Money talks: corporate America turns on Trump

Money talks: corporate America turns on Trump

 “Boy, did Donald Trump blow it,” said Molly Roberts in The Washington Post. He may not have fulfilled his ambition of becoming the first US president to grow richer in office, but until recently it looked like he would at least enjoy a lucrative post-presidency. Not now, it doesn’t. Since the deadly riots on Capitol Hill, corporate America has turned on Trump with a vengeance. Deutsche Bank, his top lender, is reportedly no longer willing to do business with him; Shopify has taken down online stores affiliated with his empire; PayPal has stopped processing certain group’s payments; Twitter has banned him; and – a particular blow to Trump – the PGA has stripped his New Jersey golf club of a prestigious tournament. A host of big firms, meanwhile, have suspended political donations to all 147 Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.

This boardroom backlash will hurt the Trump Organisation, said Eric Lipton in The New York Times. With more than £300m in debt coming due in the next few years that Trump has personally guaranteed, and the business already suffering from the impact of the Covid pandemic, the last thing he needed was for the Trump brand to become more toxic. The Republican Party will feel the impact too, said Christine Romans on CNN. “Pulling donations from GOP lawmakers no question sends a big message. Money talks in American politics.”

It’s great that corporate America has finally drawn a line, said Kate Cohen in The Washington Post – even if the move is rather late and self-serving. These, after all, are “the same folks who helped get us into this mess”. Indeed, said Emily Stewart on Vox. Last week, Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and a big GOP donor, said he felt “betrayed” by Trump’s role in the Capitol riot, adding “I didn’t sign up for that”. Yet the reality is “he kind of did”. Trump’s flaws have been clear from the start. Big business just went along with him for selfish reasons. As CBS executive chair Les Moonves said of Trump’s presidential bid back in 2016: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Now, having happily pocketed his cuts to tax and regulations, business leaders have abandoned Trump in a panic, and shown how weak he is without them. “It makes you wonder what would have happened had they not fuelled his rise in the first place.”

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