The things President Donald Trump is doing are "consistent, totally consistent" with his message of "jobs, jobs, jobs," and concerns that he has changed his stance on several issues since taking office is "nonsense," Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, said Saturday.
"This flip flop nonsense is ridiculous media blowback," Welch told CNN's Michael Smerconish. "Remember, his platform was jobs jobs jobs, American, jobs. The things the media is beating him up for flip flopping, that's doing a smart thing, that's jobs."
Welch was present at the White House this past week when Trump met with several corporate CEOs from across the country, and has known the president for many years. He told Smerconish that Trump is "thriving" in being the president.
"He loves it," said Welch. "He's learning every day."
Welch said the CEOs went to Washington for meetings on policy, and this time broke out into working groups of five people.
"He has three cabinet secretaries, Wilbur Ross [Commerce], Betsy DeVos [Education] and Elaine Chao [Transportation] and he has Mike Mulvaney, the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] director, and he has Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator," said Welch. "We broke into five groups, three with each one, the secretaries and the directors, and outlined their plans."
After a comment period, a spokesperson from each group and their secretary met with Trump for about an hour and a half and laid out the results and impressions for the president and his staff, said Welch.
"I'll tell you what, he was deeply into everyone, let's do this, let's do that," said Welch. "I agree with that, don't agree with that. He engaged staff, I mean a thousand of them and he was in there like he was a real player. I was overly impressed."
Trump this week said he had preferred to seek health care reform before tackling the nation's tax code, in hopes of using the savings from healthcare to pay for tax cuts, and Welch said the president remains committed to that.
"If he gets it, he will have $900 million to put into the tax bill," said Welch. "Now if he doesn't get it, he's not going to wait forever if they delay, and he will have a smaller tax bill, which won't be as effective."
Welch also discussed the United Airlines controversy after a doctor was dragged, screaming, from his seat saying CEO Oscar Munoz did not take control of the situation initially, but "he got out and apologized as quickly as he could."
"The trick is, Michael, on these things they won't have another problem of dragging passengers off the plane," said Welch. "The trick is to get a culture where the customer is centric...with social media today, you have to be scenario playing on every level of every possibility because your reputation is a camera shot away. "
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