| WASHINGTON, April 27
WASHINGTON, April 27 Manufacturers and Wall
Street have led the quest for business access to President
Donald Trump in his first 100 days in office, with media
companies and Silicon Valley seldom entering the presidential
bubble, a Reuters review found.
Since inauguration day on Jan. 20, top executives from at
least 186 companies have visited with Trump or senior advisers
at the White House or on presidential trips, including those to
Mar-a-Lago, the private, seaside Florida club where he spends
Some of the meetings have been reported in the press. But
Reuters analyzed more than 900 White House press pool reports to
give the first big picture view, albeit an incomplete one, of
who has had the most and least success at bending the
Such access can be crucial for companies, with Trump
regularly passing judgment and making proposals on business
issues such as trade, taxes, immigration and regulation.
The review showed Trump listening closely to some segments
of Corporate America, though perhaps neglecting the dynamic
technology and entertainment sectors, both powerful U.S. export
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc, and other tech leaders
met with Trump before his inauguration.
Access sometimes means influence, but it was likely too soon
to tell, after less than 100 days, whether Trump's actions have
disproportionately favored big manufacturers and Wall Street.
Industrial power-houses have led the way on access,
including companies with the clout to make significant hiring
decisions: Ford Motor Co CEO Mark Fields has met with
Trump at least four times; General Motors CEO Mary Barra,
at least four times; and Boeing representatives, at least
The Reuters review helps fill a blank in the Trump record
that opened in mid-April when he put the White House visitor
logs off-limits to the public. They had been mostly public under
Transparency advocates have warned that Trump's decision
will make it harder to hold him accountable.
"A public record of who has the president's ear is more
important than it has ever been," said John Wonderlich,
executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit
good-government advocacy group.
The review showed about half of the companies that have made
it into the Trump inner circle through April 21, day 92 of his
presidency, were manufacturers or financial firms - asset
managers, insurers and banks ranging from Wall Street giants
such as Citigroup to small community banks.
Financier Stephen Schwarzman, who chairs a presidential
advisory forum of business leaders, is CEO of the Blackstone
Group, the largest manager of private equity and real
estate assets. He was spotted by the press pool aboard Air Force
1 on Feb. 3 when the president was traveling to Mar-a-Lago.
Schwarzman also attended at least three meetings with Trump and
Almost all of Trump's meetings were group encounters with 10
or more executives sitting down with the president and White
House officials in events billed as listening sessions,
roundtable discussions or town halls.
A few were more intimate encounters, such as on March 18,
when Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment, a Walt Disney
Corp. subsidiary, met with the president in Mar-a-Lago
before having dinner with the president, first lady Melania
Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Perlmutter, however, was one of few executives from media
companies seen by pool reporters in meetings with Trump.
Information technology firms, which enjoyed significant
access to former President Barack Obama, have had less access to
Trump than legacy manufacturers such as auto and steel makers.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty attended three meetings with
Trump, but was one of only a few CEOs from big tech firms seen
at the White House.
Manufacturers and financiers also enjoyed access to the
White House under Obama, according to a Reuters review in
December 2015 of White House visitor logs.
The recent Reuters review is not comprehensive since the
press pool, though dogged and alert, may have missed some of
Trump's meetings with business leaders.
The pool is a rotation of journalists from several outlets,
including Reuters, who follow Trump and get briefings from White
House officials on some, but not all of his meetings.
(Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Additional reporting
by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh
and Dan Grebler)