Leaders in business, technology and culture are pulling the plug on their support for President Trump and some of his closest allies in the final days of his presidency.
The big picture: Trump’s political power, and his popularity with a large swath of the Republican base, always protected him from a backlash from business and tech leaders — until now. The Capitol siege proved to be the final straw.
Driving the news: Twitter announced Friday that the platform will permanently suspend President Trump’s account. It’s the strongest action against the president’s account and comes in response to the risk of further incitement of violence.
- Apple on Friday threatened to remove right-wing-friendly social media app Parler from its App Store if it doesn’t lay out a plan to moderate its content.
- Reddit said Friday that it had banned the subreddit group “r/DonaldTrump,” one of the company’s largest political communities dedicated to support for Trump. In the world of social media, that’s pretty close to the end of the game.
- Facebook is facing calls to boot Trump permanently from prominent voices, including from former First Lady Michelle Obama, a slew of celebrities and high-ranking Hill Democrats.
Businesses and billionaires have begun to reconsider their support for Trump, or at least their tolerance for his antics that came with the policies they supported.
- Many of America’s top businesspeople plan to deny future contributions to Republicans who egged on his efforts to overturn the election, sources tell Axios’ Dan Primack and Alexi McCammond.
- Billionaires that bankrolled Trump and applauded his tax policies, like venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Texas banking billionaire Andy Beal, aren’t rushing to Trump’s defense, per Bloomberg.
Publishers have started to deny platforms and endorsements for Trump and his key allies.
- Simon & Schuster canceled plans to publish a book by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who aided Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and pumped his fist at Trump supporters who later stormed the Capitol.
- The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal called on Trump to resign this week.
Academic and professional institutions are turning their backs on Trump, too.
- On Friday, Lehigh’s Board of Trustees announced it would rescind and revoke Trump’s 1988 honorary degree.
- A slew of trade groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, which typically supports conservative trade policies, slammed rioters Wednesday and called out Trump for egging on the rioters.
- The NAM statement, by president and CEO Jay Timmons, was one of the first to raise the idea that Trump should be removed through the 25th amendment.
What to watch: Trump is becoming politically radioactive in real time, as Republicans who have defended him for years — and resisted many opportunities to put daylight between themselves and his bullying tactics — are now starting to back away from him.
- Case in point: Sen. Ted Cruz, the leader of a group of Senate Republicans who challenged Biden’s electoral votes, called Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the Capitol siege “reckless” on Thursday and claimed that “I have disagreed with the president’s language and rhetoric for the last four years.”
- Even former President George W. Bush, who has kept quiet about Trump’s actions throughout his presidency, put out a rare condemnation of Wednesday’s riots as a “violent assault” on the U.S. Capitol.
Yes, but: It’s a convenient time for many leaders to finally distance themselves, as Trump’s days in power are dwindling and they now need to curry favor with a Biden administration.
The bottom line: After all these years, Trump finally crossed the line.