President Donald Trump discussed the economy with corporate leaders on Thursday, as he signed an executive order on education and tweeted that it’s time for the U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE MEETING
In a meeting closed to the media, Trump discussed economic and business issues at the Washington headquarters of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of major U.S. corporations. The White House said participants included JPMorgan Chase & Co.
CEO Jamie Dimon, who is the association’s chairman, and Home Depot Inc.
CEO Craig Menear. Dimon and Trump publicly sparred last year after the bank chief said he could beat the president in an election. Dimon later said he shouldn’t have made the remarks.
The Business Roundtable later released a statement calling on Congress to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — a top Trump priority — this year.
Saying universities are using so-called safe spaces to “restrict free thought,” Trump signed an executive order promoting freedom of speech on college campuses.
He said $35 billion in federal research funding is at risk of being lost if public institutions don’t comply with the First Amendment and private schools fail to live up to their own free-speech policies. “If a college or university does not allow you to speak, we will not give them money, it’s very simple,” Trump said in a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
GOLAN ANNOUNCEMENT AHEAD OF NETANYAHU VISIT
A few days ahead of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump tweeted, “after 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”
The Golan Heights were captured by Israel from Syria in 1967, and Netanyahu has pushed for the U.S. to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the area. The Israeli prime minister is facing a tough reelection on April 9. Both Netanyahu and his chief rival in the election, Benny Gantz, will speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference in Washington next week. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Trump on Monday and Tuesday.
Several declared Democratic presidential candidates say they won’t attend the AIPAC conference.
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