CEOs, Industry Groups Denounce Capitol Riots -- Update
By Emily Glazer, Chip Cutter and Lauren Weber
Business leaders and trade groups called for an end to the
violence in Washington D.C. on Wednesday as supporters of President
Trump stormed the Capitol where legislators were meeting to certify
President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win.
The comments came during a week of statements and meetings
involving corporate executives as they sought to publicly urge a
smooth transfer of power while Mr. Trump and others disputed his
Rioters forced lawmakers to shelter in place on Wednesday as
Capitol Police rushed leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives
from the floor. The developments came on a day when congressional
allies of Mr. Trump challenged the election results from several
states. Vice President Mike Pence, who was evacuated from the
Capitol, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have rejected
calls to overturn election results.
James Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase
& Co., the country's largest bank, said the violence doesn't
represent the U.S. "Our elected leaders have a responsibility to
call for an end to the violence, accept the results, and, as our
democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful
transition of power," Mr. Dimon said in a statement.
Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce.com Inc.,
tweeted: "Our leaders must call for peace and unity now. There is
no room for violence in our democracy. May the One who brings peace
bring peace to our country."
Others in the business community called for further steps. Jay
Timmons, president and chief executive of the National Association
of Manufacturers, said Mr. Pence should consider invoking the 25th
amendment, which allows for a transfer of power when a president is
unable to fulfill his duties.
"This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in
and work so hard to defend," Mr. Timmons said in a statement.
"Across America today, millions of manufacturing workers are
helping our nation fight the deadly pandemic that has already taken
hundreds of thousands of lives. We are trying to rebuild an economy
and save and rebuild lives. But none of that will matter if our
leaders refuse to fend off this attack on America and our
Thomas J. Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which
represents more than three million businesses across the country,
called for an end to the violence and for Congress to regroup in
the evening to certify the Electoral College results.
The Business Roundtable, a bipartisan group which counts among
its members the CEOs of dozens of major U.S. companies, urged Mr.
Trump and other officials to "put an end to the chaos and to
facilitate the peaceful transition of power." Executives, including
Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith, tweeted the statement and
reiterated their support for a peaceful transition. "This is a day
to speak up for our Constitution and its values," Mr. Smith
Mr. Biden, in a speech from Wilmington, Del., pushed Mr. Trump
to "publicly demand an end to this siege."
Hours after violence erupted at the Capitol complex, Mr. Trump
urged supporters to go home while calling them "very special," in a
video released from the White House that also reiterated his
debunked claims about the election results. While he called for
protecting law enforcement, the president added: "I know how you
As the violence and chaos unfolded, some CEOs addressed their
employees directly. Tim Ryan, the U.S. chairman of consulting and
accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, had expected to talk
to employees about normal business matters during a webcast
scheduled for Wednesday. Instead, after seeing the Capitol breached
by rioters shortly before the call, he told them, "It is safe to
say that this is a surreal day that will go down in our country's
history and it is devastating to watch these events unfold right
before our eyes."
PWC checked on employees in the Washington D.C. area to ensure
they were safe, and is monitoring for similar uprisings in other
cities, a spokeswoman said. Mr. Ryan also told employees on the
webcast they could take the rest of the day off if they were
feeling overwhelmed by the day's events.
The chaos interrupted workdays as many employees stopped what
they were doing to follow the coverage. At Progressive Stamping
& Fabrication LLC, a 28-person manufacturer in Oklahoma City,
people -- including some who were disappointed with the election
outcome -- monitored developments online and on an office
television, said Dave Younge, an owner of the company.
Mr. Younge, a Republican, said he was busy with work and unaware
of what was unfolding when he started receiving news alerts. "I
thought holy cow, this is going on?" he said. "This is very
Write to Emily Glazer at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chip Cutter at
email@example.com and Lauren Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 06, 2021 18:53 ET (23:53 GMT)
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