Donald Trump may have entered the White House with a background in business, but a new survey of business leaders shows little praise for the president from his fellow executives.

A live survey released Monday and taken last Thursday during a “CEO Summit” hosted by the Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute found a majority of the attendees were critical of the president on his leadership of national security, his tactics with allies and his administration’s diplomatic communications. While the event was off the record, results from the survey were provided by the institute.

“They’re very discouraged,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the school and the president of CELI. He said there was a noticeable shift by CEOs from enthusiasm on topics such as regulatory and tax reform to more disappointment on issues like trade, the treatment of allies and the overall divisive tone of the administration. “That divisiveness of pitting people against each other all the time has really worn the business community down.”

According to the survey results provided, roughly three-quarters of business leaders disagreed with a statement that Trump was effectively leading U.S. national security. Eighty-seven percent of attendees agreed that President Trump’s negotiating style had cost the country the trust of allies, and 75 percent said they often had to apologize to international partners for “embarrassing diplomatic messages” when traveling abroad for business.

The survey included answers from more than 110 CEOs, nonprofit and government leaders – with the largest group of respondents leading Fortune 1000 firms – and therefore is not a random sample of business leaders’ insights. But it offers a snapshot of what these leaders think about the president’s actions, as well as topics like the economy, Brexit and regulation of technology companies. An e-mail sent to a White House spokeswoman was not immediately returned.


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