GE CEO Jeff Immelt is a Republican that knows Donald Trump and used to like him. Immelt worked with him back in the days when GE owned NBC, the network that airs Trump’s reality show, “The Apprentice.”
Immelt says that he always found Trump to be “fun to work with, endearing, competitive, lots of good things.”
But he can’t bring himself to endorse Donald Trump. Quite the opposite. Immelt condemned Trump’s comments about Mexico and Muslims in an interview with Vanity Fair, saying such attitudes have no place in corporate America or the country.
Here’s the full exchange:
VF: What do you make of Donald Trump?
JI: “I knew him a little bit when we owned NBC and did The Apprentice. And I always found him to be fun to work with, endearing, competitive, lots of good things. But there’s just no place for discrimination in our place or any other company or in the U.S., so the comments about Mexico or Muslims, that’s unacceptable to us. The Donald Trump that I had a chance to work with, I found to be fun to work with. The words? I can’t reconcile with anything I believe in, or that I think the country stands for or that the company stands for.”
Immelt certainly isn’t the only high-profile Republican CEO to feel disenfranchised from the GOP’s nominee, especially in the wake of Trump’s back-and-forth comments with the parents of a slain Muslim American soldier who died protecting his unit in Iraq.
Earlier this week Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman went so far as to “urge all Republicans to reject Donald Trump this November” and to vote for Hillary Clinton instead.
“To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia, and racial division,” Whitman posted to Facebook. “Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues — from immigration to our economy to foreign policy — have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President.”