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Top CEO's Bewildered After Closed-Door Meeting with Trump: 'Meandering' and 'Doesn't Know What He's Talking About'

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In a meeting that was expected to rally support from key business leaders, former President Donald Trump instead fell flat, sources who were at the event confirmed.

Jun. 14 2024, Published 5:15 p.m. ET

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In a meeting that was expected to rally support from key business leaders, former President Donald Trump instead fell flat, multiple attendees at the Business Roundtable's quarterly meeting have revealed.

The event, held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, was populated with top CEOs who left the session unimpressed and even disheartened by Trump's performance, sources confirmed.

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Top CEOs attended the meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

Attendees who spoke to CNBC on condition of anonymity portrayed a chaotic and unfocused presentation by the former president.

"Trump doesn't know what he's talking about," said one CEO who was in the room, emphasizing the lack of coherent policy details and strategies.

This CEO, who initially had a favorable outlook towards Trump, found the speech particularly lacking in substance.

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Attendees were said to have walked into the meeting with a sense of optimism, but left more disappointed than encouraged.

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Andrew Ross Sorkin of CNBC provided further insights during his Squawk Box segment on Friday, reiterating the sentiments of several CEOs present at the meeting.

“Several CEOs said that [Trump] was remarkably meandering, could not keep a straight thought [and] was all over the map,” reported Sorkin.

The gathering — meant to focus on essential business issues such as tax reductions and the reduction of business regulations — turned out to be a session filled with unstructured commentary, according to two other attendees.

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Trump twice forgot the name of the physician who administered his cognitive test while attacking President Biden.

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The CEOs in the room anticipated concrete plans and actionable insights, but were left with vague remarks and evasive statements instead.

Attendees were said to have walked into the meeting with a sense of optimism regarding Trump’s policy propositions.

Many expected to hear a comprehensive plan that could impact economic growth positively.

However, their experiences were more disappointment than encouragement.

“These were people who I think might have been actually predisposed to [Trump], but actually walked out of the room less predisposed,” Sorkin pointed out, highlighting the stark shift in sentiment.

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Trump's communication director, Steven Cheung, said the candidate was "warmly received" at the meeting.

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Despite the dissatisfaction, Steven Cheung, communications director for the Trump presidential campaign, offered a contrasting perspective.

"President Trump was warmly received by everyone in the room and was commended for his policy proposals on deregulation and tax cuts," Cheung stated, hinting at a supposed alignment between Trump's plans and the expectations of the business leaders present.

CEOs at Trump meeting: Ex-president 'meandering' and 'doesn't know what he's talking about'

Trump offered scant details on how he would reduce taxes and cut back on business regulations, according to two people in the room.

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