Even though J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said he disagreed with President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement earlier this year, he maintained that he still had a responsibility “to engage our elected officials…and advocate for policies that improve people’s lives.”
Now, amid outrage over Trump’s Charlottesville response, Dimon has condemned the president. Dimon was on the Strategic and Policy Forum, one of the jobs councils Trump disbanded Wednesday; the second was the American Manufacturing Council, which several business leaders resigned from earlier this week after Trump initially failed to call out racist groups, including white supremacists and the KKK, following the deadly rally that took place in the Virginia city.
“I strongly disagree with President Trump’s reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days. Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong.” Dimon wrote in a note to employees Wednesday. “It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart.”
Dimon also noted in his letter that he supported the disbanding, though Trump in a Tuesday tweet said that he had made the decision.
While Trump spoke out against racist groups on Monday, he doubled down on his initial remarks that suggested both white supremacists and counter protesters were violent over the weekend.
“There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and humanity,” Dimon added.
This is different from the initial note Dimon sent to his employees Monday. In that note, Trump wasn’t even mentioned.
“The violence was a stark reminder that we must recommit ourselves every day as a society to stand up and uphold the values that bind us as Americans,” he wrote back then.
Here is his note to employees in its entirety:
I strongly disagree with President Trump’s reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days. Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong. The equal treatment of all people is one of our nation’s bedrock principles. There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and humanity.
As a company and for all business in general, it is critical that we help develop rational, intelligent policies to help expand opportunities for all of our citizens. I know that times are tough for many. The lack of economic growth and opportunity has led to deep and understandable frustration among so many Americans. But fanning divisiveness is not the answer. Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country. It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart.
Today, the members of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to disband. The group put out its own statement. But I also wanted you to understand why I personally supported this decision and how strongly I feel about these issues.
I’m very proud of the 250,000 people working here at JPMorgan Chase. I see your values every day – in how you treat your clients, your communities and each other. I am proud to see so many of you leading by example and not losing sight of the core principles which made our country great. I stand with you.