CEO privately argues against Trump's reelection
But Mike Sievert also has a warning for Trump's critics, cautioning Democrats in a Facebook post last week against extreme-sounding rhetoric that could help the president in November. T-Mobile's chief executive has privately advocated against reelecting President Donald Trump and other Republicans — just a year and a half after Democrats accused the CEO and his predecessor of cozying up to the administration to win approval of its merger with Sprint.
But Mike Sievert also has a warning for Trump's critics, cautioning Democrats in a Facebook post last week against extreme-sounding rhetoric that could help the president in November.
“Democrats/Liberals, if we want to LOSE THIS ELECTION, we should keep saying and repeating the phrase ‘Defund the Police’ and associate the phrase with our candidates,” Sievert, who heads the country’s second largest wireless carrier, wrote following the unrest in Kenosha, Wis.
“This phrase is a sure fire way to hand Donald Trump and many R’s in Congress another term.”
Sievert's post, on the locked personal account he shares among friends, was unusually partisan by the standards of corporate leaders who need to maintain relationships with both Republicans and Democrats. An image of the Facebook remarks taken shortly after Sievert posted them.
The CEO, who also maintains public social media profiles with thousands of followers, declined to comment.
T-Mobile did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. The company, based in Washington state and serving close to 100 million customers, is partly owned by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom and Japan’s SoftBank.
Sievert, a longtime T-Mobile executive, succeeded John Legere as CEO on April 1, the same day the carrier completed its merger with Sprint. The pair had helped usher through the deal, originally valued at $26 billion, after announcing it in 2018.
Legere faced Democratic criticism during the merger approval process after T-Mobile spent $195,000 in stays for himself and fellow executives at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., sometimes shelling out more than $2,000 a room per night. The executives included Sievert, then the company's chief operating officer and president.
The hotel is near the headquarters of the Justice Department, which was reviewing the merger proposal. Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state accused T-Mobile of trying to curry favor with the administration, while Republicans shrugged off the attacks and Legere insisted he was a longtime patron of Trump properties.
While many business leaders try to avoid alienating either political party, some executives make exceptions. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison held a fundraiser for Trump in February, while Comcast executive David Cohen, who has been dialing back his corporate responsibilities this year, has emerged as a notable ally to Biden’s campaign.
Trump has obsessed over securing loyalty from American companies. He has called on customers to boycott corporations such as Goodyear, because of a ban on employees wearing "MAGA Attire," and AT&T, because of the way its network CNN covers him.
Sievert, meanwhile, has mainly kept quiet about his politics, although records tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics show 2016 and 2018 donations to Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.).
His first five months as CEO have already included a spat with one of Trump’s favorite cable news hosts, Fox's Tucker Carlson, who warned viewers during a June segment about Black Lives Matter that the movement's supporters will "come for you.”
“Bye-bye Tucker Carlson!” Sievert tweeted, adding the hashtag Black Lives Matter and swearing off any T-Mobile advertising on the Fox program. T-Mobile appears on a liberal watchdog group's list of companies that have stopped running ads on Carlson's show.
In the Facebook post, Sievert expressed sympathy with the goals of the Defund the Police movement, including a demand for more accountability for law enforcement officers and "better non-policing solutions" to social problems. He called himself “aghast” at the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, by Kenosha police.
However, the wrong message or tactics will only drive away moderate voters, Sievert wrote, drawing on his experience as a marketing expert.
“[I]f the mantra becomes ‘Defund the Police’ or worse, if we start to riot and tear down buildings or incite violence in response, the other guy wins. THE OTHER GUY WINS,” Sievert cautioned. “And the changes we want, and demand, don’t come about anytime soon."
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor charged with espionage in 2013, on Thursday urged President Trump to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Ivanka Trump was interviewed by attorneys alleging that Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration committee misused donor funds. The document, first reported by CNN on Wednesday, shows that Ivanka Trump, the president’s oldest daughter and a senior White House adviser, was interviewed on Tuesday by attorneys from the Washington, DC, attorney general’s office. The office has filed a lawsuit alleging waste of the nonprofit’s funds, accusing the committee of making more than $1m in improper payments to the president’s Washington, DC, hotel.
Heidi Stirrup was told to vacate the building after top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases. The official serving as President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department has been banned from the building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters she could relay to the White House. Heidi Stirrup, an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, was quietly installed at the Justice Department as a White House liaison a few months ago.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating a potentially criminal scheme involving paying a bribe to people either in or affiliated with the White House in exchange for an unknown person receiving a presidential pardon, according to court documents that were unsealed Tuesday.