JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: 'We need a peaceful transition'

Max Zahn
·Reporter

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday called for a peaceful transition of power and urged supporters of both presidential candidates to accept the outcome of the election, as President Donald Trump continued to cast unfounded doubt on the legitimacy of the results.

“We need a peaceful transition,” Dimon told New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin at the media organization’s DealBook Online Summit. “We had an election. We have a new president. We should have unity.”

“Whether you like the outcome or not, you should support the democracy because it is based on a system of faith and trust,” he adds.

Dimon joined other major CEOs who have spoken publicly about the election results, including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who congratulated Biden during the company’s earnings call on Tuesday. And on Wednesday, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, criticized other Republicans for not speaking out about Trump’s refusal to concede.

“I think honestly President Trump has cemented his legacy as being inadequate for the job, and Republicans who continue to refuse to say or do anything about this unwillingness to engage in a peaceful transfer of power are also demonstrating that they’re inadequate for their jobs,” Fiorina told Yahoo Finance Live.

‘We’re asked to be a part of the solution’

Last week, roughly two dozen CEOs held a conference call to discuss how they should respond if Trump refuses to step down. The meeting came days after a statement of congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden from the Business Roundtable, a group that represents major corporations like Walmart (WMT), Apple (AAPL), and Starbucks (SBUX).

Dimon, who led the Business Roundtable as chairman from 2017 to 2019, said the call for a peaceful transition falls within a CEO’s responsibility to improve society.

“I think CEOs are being asked to a do a lot of things today that they weren’t asked to do in the past,” he says. “If you travel around the country, there’s a huge frustration. And we’re asked to be a part of the solution.”

He called democratic integrity “just one more thing” that CEOs should should address, likes jobs and skill development.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon (L) as he hosts a strategy and policy forum with chief executives of major U.S. companies at the White House in Washington February 3, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon (L) as he hosts a strategy and policy forum with chief executives of major U.S. companies at the White House in Washington February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Last month, Yahoo Finance asked 43 of Trump’s top business and economic allies whether Trump should allow for a peaceful transition of power if he loses. Three supporters responded with assurance that Trump would step down if the election ultimately delivers an unfavorable result.

So far, the Trump campaign’s at least 17 lawsuits contesting the results have proven largely unsuccessful in court. Nevertheless, roughly half of all Republicans believe Trump “rightfully won” the election, according to a poll released by Reuters on Wednesday that included 496 Republicans. Biden won 306 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 232.

Dimon downplayed current political division, citing difficult periods in U.S. history such as the Civil War.

“There have been worse times in American history where people didn’t trust the system,” he says. “So I have deep faith and abiding trust in the reliance of America.”

“We just went through a very hot election campaign,” he says. “There will be a new president sworn in on January 20. And hopefully everybody will take a deep breath.”

Max Zahn is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Find him on twitter @MaxZahn_.

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