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What Trump told CEOs in their private meeting

Donald Trump huddled with at least 80 CEOs on Thursday in Washington with a clear pitch to them: If he is elected president again in November, the CEOs are going to see tax cuts and a curtailment of business regulations.

Trump said that if he is in the White House he will cut taxes, including income taxes, and bring back the same economic policies he enacted during his first term, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Trump also mentioned to the CEOs a recent proposal he rolled out in Nevada, to eliminate taxes on worker tips. Trump then told the CEOs a story about how excited tipped workers were about his proposal, prompting laughter from the corporate leaders, according to multiple sources.

Trump spoke for about an hour at the Business Roundtable’s quarterly meeting. The audience included Apple CEO Tim Cook, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie DimonCitigroup CEO Jane Fraser and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Jeff Zients addressed the group earlier in the day, according to a source.

CNBC sources were granted anonymity in order to speak freely about a private gathering.

“We’re going to give you more of the same for the next four years,” a person in the room said, describing Trump’s message for the company leaders.

Representatives for the Trump campaign and the Business Roundtable did not return requests for comment before publication.

For Trump and the CEOs who attended, the meeting represented an effort to mend relations after some have distanced themselves from the former president.

Business advisory groups were disbanded in 2017 after Trump tried to equivocate “both sides” of protests in Charlottesville, Va. that featured white nationalists. During the riot on Jan. 6, 2021 on Capitol Hill, executives, including members of the Business Roundtable, called on Trump to stop the violence.

Trump also took a dig at Biden. “We need a president who is at the top of his game and let’s face it, this president is not at the top of his game.”

A spokesperson for Cook declined to comment on whether he attended the meeting.

Trump told a meeting full of House Republicans earlier in the day about the idea of imposing an “all tariff policy” that would ultimately enable the U.S. to get rid of the income tax.

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