The pool entered the EEOB State Department Library for a meeting of CEOs and Administration members. Trump was wearing dark suit and red tie and was seated in between Stephen Schwarzman and Elaine Chao.
Others from Administration spotted were Dina Powell, Kellyanne Conway, Gary Cohn and Secretaries Chao, DeVos, Pruitt, Ross and Mulvaney.
Trump and guests spoke for about 7 minutes. At the end, he asked the CEOS to go around the room and introduce themselves. Full list is below, per WH.
Roughly 28 people seated at four tables
Trump did not respond to shouted question about whether his view has changed about Putin.
Highlights: (As always please check quotes with transcript.)
Trump thanked Schwarzman for assembling an "incredible group of world class business leaders."
He acknowledged the secretaries in attendance -- Chao, DeVos, Pruitt, Ross and Mulvaney. He quipped that Mulvaney "has the easiest job" of the cabinet. That sparked laughter.
Trump said: "At the top of our agenda is the creation of great high paying jobs for American workers. We've made a lot of progress," Trump adding. "We've created over 600,000 jobs already."
"It's really going to start catching on."
He praised Toyota for investing $1.3 billion –"it's probably going to be $1.9 billion" into its Georgetown, Ky. plant – "an investment that would not have been made if we didn't win the election."
Trump pointed to past manufacturing job losses and said: "We have a lot of work to do."
"Our business tax is one of the highest in the world."
"For too long we've punished production in America and rewarded countries for leaving our country. We're going to reverse that."
"NAFTA is a disaster. It's been a disaster … We're going to have some very pleasant surprises for you on NAFTA."
"My administration has already taken historic action to unleash job creation."
He pointed to his executive actions and bill signings to roll back regulations and reduce federal overreach.
"On the environment, we are going to be very, very careful on the environment. It's very important to me."
"We allowed a lot of companies to go back to work. They were being restricted. Their jobs were being restricted. We've unleashed a lot companies."
"We are also working to modernize our economy and harness the full potential of women in the workforce, which is crucial to our economic success."
"Economic confidence is sweeping the nation. You saw the new survey that came out. It's at 93– the highest it's ever been – 93 percent of manufacturers are optimistic."
"This is just the beginning. We're going to reduce taxes. We're going to eliminate wasteful regulations."
Dodd Frank – "We're doing a major elimination of the horrendous Dodd-Frank regulations – keeping some obviously but getting rid of many."
"We're going to put many millions of people back to work. The banks will be able to lend again."
"With your help and insights we'll use the private sector innovation to drive job creation and reform government," Trump said to the CEOs.
"We have computer system in this country that's 40 years old. So when you hear we're hacked … we're like easy targets."
"One of the things we're doing, we're working with a very, very wonderful woman from IMB", Trump said, looking at IMB's Ginni Rometty. But he quickly added "and others."
Trump quipped it's like when he says he likes Lockheed F-35, he also has to say he likes Boeing.
"I love your computers but we'll also work with others, alright."
Trump said he'll have a "massive program" to modernize computer equipment.
Cost of maintaining computers is "so high it's not even a believable number"– from $39 billion to $ 89 billion (it sounded like he said, please check with transcript) – "is that even possible?" Trump said.
"It's possible," Rometty said.
"I think we could buy a whole new set of systems for less money, wouldn't you say,"
"Sure," Rometty said.
"We'll give you 10 billion right now," Trump said to laughter.
Trump also thanked Welch and remarked at their past success together in business deals.
Trump turned it over to Stephen Schwarzman for a few words.
Schwarzman said they've had an "interesting day" by dividing the secretaries and CEOs into five groups for an "open discussion." Focus has been on trade, education, workforce development, energy and environment, regulatory reform and infrastructure.
The CEOs went around the room to introduce themselves.
Pool escorted out at 11:02 am.
Background information from the White House on participants (sent out yesterday):
The Strategic and Policy Forum of 20 CEO's met with the President on Friday, February 3rd. This will be a follow up meeting with some of the same CEO's and some new ones. The listening session will be based around the strategic agenda of several Cabinet Members. They will meet to discuss the strategic priorities for 5 Cabinet Secretaries and their agencies with members of the Strategic and Policy Forum led by Stephen Schwarzman. The format will be breakout sessions and then a larger listening session.
Secretary Ross- Commerce
- Rich Lesser, CEO of Boston Consulting Group
- Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc
- Indra Nooyi, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo
Secretary DeVos- Education
- Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM
- Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric;
- Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
Administrator Pruitt- Environment
- Dan Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit
- Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
- Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners LLC
Director Mulvaney- Budget
- Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY
- Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing
- Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Secretary Chao- Transportation
- Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX
- Bayo Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
- Phillip Howard, Lawyer
- Matt Rose