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."
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed her successor Mike Pompeo’s pledge to release more of her emails ahead of the election as “pathetic,” insisting that there is nothing of importance in her unreleased communications.
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden squared off in a combative but restrained debate Thursday night that gave voters their final chance to size the candidates up before heading to the polls Nov. 3. Trump dialed it back in Nashville after his disruptive previous showing in the first debate in Cleveland late last month resulted in handwringing from within his own party. But there were still plenty of clashes, as the candidates got personal with stinging attacks focused on their families, race and immigration.
New York and its fellow cities branded anarchist jurisdictions by the Trump administration will file a lawsuit challenging a move to pull their federal funds. The Justice Department last month slapped the label on New York, Seattle, and Portland, saying they could lose federal funding because the administration believes they have failed to rein in “violence and destruction of property” on their streets. The “anarchist jurisdiction” designation came after President Trump ordered the DOJ to identify cities that, in his view, were not responding aggressively enough to protests and crime.
President Trump on Thursday posted his full interview with "60 Minutes" ahead of its scheduled air time in an apparent attempt to undercut the news program after he walked out on the interview, bristling at questioning from journalist Lesley Stahl. The president posted the nearly 40-minute sit-down to his Facebook page with the caption: "Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS....Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!" Trump added, referencing the NBC News anchor who will moderate the presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn.